Modern society is designed to keep us as much inside as possible. We move in between homes, offices, cars and trains and don’t realize how much this impacts our physical and mental health. Spending time outdoors is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your health, but it is also a habit that can have wider and more subtle effects on your life. By exploring the outdoors, you can discover more entertaining forms of exercise like hiking, swimming or canoeing. You also reconnect with nature, lower your stress levels, witness magnificent landscapes and spend much-needed time away from technology and screens.
Read on to discover the benefits of spending time outdoors and to learn why you should adopt this habit right now.
It Will Lower Your Stress Level
Stress is the most common and harmful affliction of modern life. It is always in the background of our lives, whether it’s related to our job responsibilities, family demands or personal anxieties. Feeling stressed for a significant portion of the day affects your ability to perform well professionally and to cultivate positive relationships.
It has been well-documented that spending time outdoors can lower your stress level and help you regain a stable sense of calm and serenity. Even activities that don’t consume a lot of energy like walking or fishing can have a significant positive impact on your wellbeing because they simply provide a context where you can relax and enjoy the moment. Besides, being in open spaces is also beneficial because nature does not shower us with exhausting stimuli like our typical urbanised environment.
Modern Technology Makes It Safe and Comfortable
Many people, especially those who grew up in large cities, shy away from outdoor activities because they’re afraid of getting lost or hurt in a hostile environment. They see nature as unpredictable and consider that you need a lot of knowledge and preparation to be able to safely spend time outdoors. While there’s nothing wrong with being cautious and nature can be dangerous if you don’t respect its power, modern technology has made the natural world much more accessible to us.
If you want to spend time outdoors and even try various outdoor activities like trekking or camping, there are tools you can rely on to keep yourself safe. Whether you want to go on an RV cross-country road trip through a large national park or spend time in a remote cabin, you can still enjoy the comfort and safety of modern conveniences. With a Battery Emergency Power kit, for example, you are never entirely disconnected from the modern world. Technology has thus made it safer for us to explore the mysterious outdoors.
It Improves Sleep
Not only that many people living in cities are sleep-deprived, but their sleep quality suffers too because of the noise, pollution and constant stream of stimuli in their environment. If you don’t sleep well, your memory and focus gradually decline. Anyone who has ever been awake for 24 hours can tell you how foggy their minds become when the lack of sleep shows its effects.
What’s the connection between sleeping and spending time outdoors? Being outside and engaging in physical activities in nature gets you exhausted by the time you get to bed. The combination of increased physical effort, sunlight, vitamin D, exposure to green vegetation and fresh air can improve your circadian rhythm so you can enjoy a restful sleep. Just a few nights of camping can regulate your circadian rhythm better than any other method.
The Beauty of Nature Changes Our Perspective
When you spend time outdoors, you take a break from your daily schedule and immerse yourself in a beautiful environment where there are no alarm clocks, calendars, noises, distractions or responsibilities. Natural landscapes appeal to us in an almost surreal way and make us feel rejuvenated. They soothe our minds, improve our moods and fill us with awe.
Being able to enjoy nature’s beauty puts life in a new perspective for us as we realize that the things which keep us stressed are human constructions rather than fixed realities. A vacation in a remote cabin, a family road trip by RV, a weekend hiking trip or a simple walk in the park will expose you to new landscapes, sights, smells, textures, and colours and will thus enrich your life.
It Can Boost Immunity
Whereas spending too much time indoors can negatively impact your health, spending time outdoors is an excellent way to strengthen the immune system and keep illness at bay. This is known as forest bathing and has been widely accepted as a therapeutic activity by scientists. From Japan to England, people have always known that a simple, meditative stroll in the forest clears the mind.
Additionally, being exposed to sunlight boosts the synthesis of Vitamin D, which increases the health and strength of your bones and muscles. Fewer cases of joint, muscle and respiratory inflammation have been reported among people who are more outdoorsy than average. Along with better immunity, reduced inflammation contributes to maintaining your health within optimal parameters so you can enjoy your life. Thus, something as simple as spending time outdoors can be as effective as a handful of pills and medicine.
Looking at today’s hottest topics of interest in society, it’s obvious that many people are interested in adopting healthier habits and developing a closer relationship with nature. However, caught in their busy lives, they leave these plans for New Year’s resolutions and then forget about them.
Change is difficult, but this is why spending time outdoors is one of the most important habits you can adopt. The wide range of positive effects it can have on your life is impressive. Besides, spending time outdoors with family or friends is a great bonding experience.
It is also one of the most affordable habits. To walk in a forest, you only need a good pair of shoes. Yet if you’re willing to invest more time, money and energy and do more complex activities and trips, you’ll gain more experiences, more memories, more self-confidence and a better appreciation for life.