I have always loved spending time in nature and although I grew up in a city I have always prioritized getting outside. Whether it’s spending time at the beach, mountain biking, hiking, snowboarding or just going for a walk, it’s always just been part of my life to spend as much time as possible outdoors. But what I didn’t really fully realize is that there are amazing health benefits of spending time in nature!
There are so many studies that have been done and that are currently being done that show the health benefits to our bodies and minds by prioritizing more time outside.
What health benefits do you feel you receive after spending time in nature? Let us know in the comments below!
10 Amazing Health Benefits of Spending Time In Nature
Here are just 10 of the reasons (among so many more!) to spend more time in nature! (Check out this sweet infographic from David Suzuki’s 30×30 Challenge!)
Although getting outside doesn’t have to mean exercise. It usually does involve some sort of exercise, even if it’s just a brief walk and it usually means reduced time sitting. Getting just 15-30 minutes of exercise per day has massive benefits for your body and mind. Moving your body decreases your risk of all sorts of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and even arthritis
Vitamin D has been shown to have potentially protective effects against a whole range of diseases from cancer to osteoporosis to depression. It can also help strengthen your immune system and all you need is 10-15 minutes of sunlight per day.
The sounds of being in a forest or by the ocean is soothing and relaxing and numerous studies have found that being in nature can reduce feelings of depression, increase self-esteem and decrease tension. The Japanese actually have a popular practice that that they have called forest bathing, which is just spending time in the forest for relaxation and recreation. Studies in South Korea have found that even just looking at pictures of nature could increase positivity and emotional stability in participants.
Being in a natural setting can increase your quality of sleep and also being in sunlight during the day has been shown to increase the body’s production of melatonin at night.
There have been some super interesting studies done on nature’s effect on the immune system. They have shown not only that white blood cells undergo increased production when the body is exposed to sunlight but also that the number of the bodies natural immune cells increases with time spent in nature. These cells fight off infections, disease and even tumors. For more information this article talks about some of the research that’s going on in Japan.
A study conducted by the University of Michigan showed that after spending time in nature both attention span and memory performance improved by 20%
I know I am happier in nature but it’s been shown that sunlight is a natural mood booster. Exercising in nature has a particularly good effect on mood and looking at natural scenery activates the part of the brain associated with balance and happiness.
These days we spend so much time in front of a screen. Use getting out into nature as an excuse to reconnect with family and friends and catch up in person.
Researchers in the US and Germany found that nature helped improved creativity. The German study showed that even looking at a green rectangle for a couple of seconds triggered greater creativity that other colors.
so much time behind a screen can take its toll on your eyesight. You can reverse these effects however by spending time outdoors. It gives your eyes a chance to focus on a large landscape, which reduces near sightedness.
Contributing Author: A keen mountain biker, snowboarder and beach lover Karen started RealEnergyFood.com to share what she has learnt about creating healthy energy food on the go. Passionate about health and fitness, if she is not enjoying being outdoors she is happiest in her kitchen making delicious but healthy clean treats. Check out her favorite recipes and learn how to make protein bars like a pro at RealEnergyFood.com!