Friday, May 15, 2020

Why Spending Time Outside is More Important Than Ever

We have always known that the outside world is a vital part of our lives. However, the current situation has highlighted that importance more than ever before. From daily walks to precious time with family in the garden, everyone’s coming up with new ways to get their time outside.

For many of us, our love of the outdoors is something we don’t even think about. However, there are many reasons why our bodies are naturally drawn to the fresh air and sunshine. The outdoors is a big part of mine and my family's life and I've shared ways to get children to spend more time outdoors, as well as lots of other posts about nature and it's benefits before.

Here are some more ways that time outside benefits us, especially if you haven’t been getting enough fresh air recently!

Time Outside Reduces Stress
We all feel stressed every so often. However, in times like these, it can feel more challenging than usual to curb those feelings. Stress can come from many places, but studies show that spending time outdoors helps us keep calm in just as many different ways.

Studies have shown that taking time out of your day to be outside, either for lunch or walking, can reduce levels of stress. Time outside, particularly while doing light exercise, also helps the body produce serotonin, which plays a massive role in our overall mood – more on that later!

Improve Your Memory and Concentration
If you find yourself struggling to focus while working from home, giving yourself ten minutes of fresh air could work wonders! A study of children with ADHD found that those who played outside showed fewer symptoms than those that played indoors.

While it’s not yet proven that adults can receive the same benefits, many studies link daily walks to improved productivity and creativity.

Receive Vitamin D
One of those things that we’re all taught as children, both by parents and teachers alike! Around 80% of the Vitamin D we intake comes directly from the sun, meaning that it’s essential for your health that you catch some natural light during the day.

Vitamin D’s primary role is to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in our bodies. Calcium plays a crucial role in our bone strength and health, making vitamin D essential for living a healthy life!

Improve Your Sleep Quality
It’s often understated just how important to our overall wellbeing a good night’s sleep can be. Even if you’re getting a reasonable amount of sleep every night, if it is forced and uncomfortable, it might not be of the quality you need to be feeling your best every day.

The key to a good night’s sleep is known as the circadian rhythm – in other words, our internal body clocks. Our bodies have a system of deciding when we should be going to sleep, to ensure we get the best recovery possible. This internal schedule is linked to the sun cycle, meaning it can become distorted if we don’t get enough natural light.

Spending more time outdoors, particularly in the morning, can help our circadian rhythms to align with the world. Combined with exercise, this can help us to have a better night’s sleep and wake up feeling more refreshed than ever before!

Become More Positive
As you’ve probably gathered, even spending five minutes outdoors can improve your outlook in a myriad of ways! Ultimately, many of these benefits – reduced stress, improved sleep, better productivity – contribute to stronger feelings of self-esteem and positivity.

However, one of the most significant ways that the outside world contributed to our happiness is through serotonin. A complicated part of our body’s internal workings, it’s popularly referred to as the happiness drug due to its impact on our brain. The level of serotonin we produce can impact everything from our mood to tiredness, memory and even our social skills.

There are many ways that our body produces serotonin, but the main three are diet, exercise and sunlight. While its impact might only be small, spending more time outside is likely to contribute to more serotonin and increased feelings of happiness!

The great thing about being outside, as many researchers have explained, is that its benefits can be gained quickly. Even if it’s just taking five minutes when you feel down from being stuck at home, that time outdoors can make a world of difference! That time outside is even stronger if it’s combined with exercise, such as walking, cycling or swimming.

With many of us still stuck at home, we are all looking for ways to get the exercise we need from home. Lots of people are choosing to purchase swimming pools to help them enjoy their gardens even more! With a swimming pool heat pump, you can get your morning’s exercise at home without having to worry about the cold!
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