As summer gets underway, days are long and with a bit of luck, sunny too. After being stuck in lockdown for months, you’re probably going a little stir crazy. How people have coped with the challenges of the last few months varies greatly from one person to the next. Now more than ever, we should all be keeping an eye on not just our own but also our loved ones’ health and wellbeing. And it isn’t just about our physical health. Our mental health is equally important. Mind, body, spirit is a phrase that I keep hearing recently. So, what simple steps can we take to look after ourselves? A healthier diet and getting more exercise are two obvious answers but there is a third and, this is my particular favourite, do you know about the many great benefits of spending time in nature?

Wherever you are in the world, there are probably lots of beautiful outside spaces around you some you may know well, others you’ve yet to discover.

The many benefits of spending time in nature

So, what exactly are the benefits to be gained from being outdoors, and how can they improve your wellbeing?

1. Going outside can help you feel happier

Not going outside can be a huge detriment to your happiness. You might be stuck indoors with a lack of light, or you may be cramped with a lack of space. There’s a reason why seasonal depression is so prevalent in the winter, and it’s mostly due to people spending too much time inside without access to sunlight. This results in a drop in the level of the hormone serotonin which has been linked to depression.

In addition, when you can go outside, you are more likely to exercise, releasing endorphins and other positive chemicals into your body.

If you’re stuck inside all the time, chances are your happiness and mood will greatly suffer. It can sometimes be hard to get outside when you have commitments of work or the weather doesn’t play ball, but do make time this summer to enjoy the great outdoors. You likely won’t regret it.

The benfits of spending time in nature

2. Exercising outside can be much more fun than going to the gym

One of the best reasons to go outside is the ability to get some much-needed exercise in your routine. Physical fitness is an extremely important part of your life, and without the proper amount of exercise, you may face a wide range of health problems. Working out indoors isn’t always easy when you lack space. Going outside opens up a whole bunch of new possibilities for you, allowing you to walk, jog, kayak or cycle your way to a happier, healthier you. Even kicking a football around with a few friends or your family in the park provides a great work out.

3. Nature is a great stress buster

A great form of stress relief is simply going outside and enjoying the beauty of the world. In fact, one of the best antidotes to stress is spending time surrounded by nature, be it in the countryside, by the sea or in a tree-rich park.

Whether you’re worried about work, or the lack of it, a big exam, a house move, or any of the everyday challenges we all face, getting outside and enjoying nature is a great way to unwind and de-stress. If you are moving home, it’s worth considering what outdoor spaces will be accessible to you. For instance, if you are looking at Detroit houses for sale check out how easy it is to get to the nearest of Michigan’s wonderful state parks.

The benefits of spending times outdoors

Research has shown that spending at least two hours a week in nature has a positive impact on our health and wellbeing. And while exercising in nature is even better for you, studies have found simply relaxing in nature has a very positive effect on you too.

The likes of mountain hikes and ocean walks may offer the best stress relief but it’s been shown that urban green spaces and even walking down a tree-lined street offers great benefits in reducing stress.

 

4. Vitamin D versus sun cream

Another important reason to go outside is the increase in vitamin D intake that you’ll experience from the sunlight. Of course, you should also keep in mind that too much sunlight can be harmful. What is too much depends on your skin type, where you live, the time of year and even the time of day. It’s all about balance.

However, your body needs vitamin D for a wide variety of functions, ranging from keeping your bones and muscles healthy to regulating your immune system. Generally, in the summer our bodies can get all of the necessary vitamin D from the sunlight. In many countries, that’s not the case in winter, so you may wish to consider taking a supplement. A deficiency of vitamin D can lead to a slew of negative health conditions including a weak immune system, sore and brittle bones, and fatigue.

5. Spending time outdoors helps you sleep

Spending time out in the fresh air, in natural light, getting some exercise and immersing yourself in mother nature, can help you sleep better. A good night’s sleep is essential to our physical and mental wellbeing.

There’s no doubt, that getting outside, exercising, and immersing yourself in nature, be it in the wilds of the Scottish Highlands or a city centre park, is good for you, physically and mentally. So get out there and soak up the beauty of the great outdoors this summer. There are many great benefits from spending time in nature.

Enjoying the beneofits of spending time in nature

Subscribe and we'll share with you the most beautiful places in the world.

* indicates required
Please select an option