When your mother used to tell you to turn the television off and go outside for some fresh air because “it’s good for you”, she was right. The last 12 months have certainly taught us just how important it is to get outdoors, have a little gentle exercise and try to be at one with our surroundings.
Here are our 5 top benefits that being outdoors can have for your mental health.
Reduce levels of stress
If you want to reduce your stress levels, then one of the best ways to do this is simply going for a walk. The rhythm that comes with an exercise like walking can actually have a very calming effect, and of course, done regularly can even help with weight loss. If you can do your walking by water, such as a lake, a river or even by the sea, that is even better as water has a particularly soothing effect on stress.
Of course, stress is one thing that can be pretty hard to avoid entirely, but you can certainly reduce the levels you have.
If walking isn’t for you, then there are plenty of other types of exercise that can get you out into the great outdoors to help your mental health. Perhaps jogging or even cycling would work better. Pick something that you enjoy and choose a location that will work for you. Whether this means driving there or simply starting from your own home, the important thing is to get out, get the adrenaline pumping and be in the fresh air. Of course, cycling or jogging can sometimes be a bit of a muddy experience, so you may want to invest in a changing mat like the one from Booicore so that you can change out of your dirty garments before you drive home.
Switch of your phone
Phones can be a great way of keeping your finger on the pulse of what is happening globally, but they can also be a significant intrusion into our lives. Why not make yourself a promise to ditch the phone for a while so that you can enjoy being outdoors? You may notice all sorts of things you haven’t seen before and learn to enjoy the nature that is right on your doorstep even more. It can be hard to be without your phone but give it a try and see what you can discover. It can do wonders for your mental health.
The most significant benefit to your mental health of being outdoors is simply fresh air. Being in the fresh air can help to wake you up, make you feel more energised. It can also clear the mind and help you to think clearly. These are the immediate affects you may feel from being outdoors, but research has shown that the benefits go much deeper. Not only can it help you to digest food more effectively, but it can also improve blood pressure and even assist with heart rate. Of course, being outdoors is the best and most natural source of essential vitamin D that you can get as well.
If you are struggling to sleep, then take a walk outside, breathe in the fresh air, enjoy the scenery and relax. This is the perfect way to improve your sleep. There is something about the great outdoors that will help make you feel so relaxed that you will find rest much more effortless.