Benefits of Being Outside: Don’t Sit Inside, Get Outdoors

Most of us, especially urban dwellers, spend far more time indoors than outside, with negative effects on our health. Yet, we know intuitively that if we spend time outside, we feel better. An increasing number of studies are confirming that getting outside, even if only briefly into the street, has health benefits. Check out these ways in which you can see the health benefits of being outside.

The Benefits of Being Outside are Fresh Air and More Oxygen

Indoor spaces can be poorly ventilated, stuffy, and full of dust and germs. That’s why, as soon as you get outside into the fresh air, you feel invigorated. Walking, jogging or cycling in the fresh air gets your lungs and heart working. Such physical activities send oxygenated blood to your vital organs, including the brain. There is nothing better for clearing the head than a walk outside or some gardening.

Nurse helping elderly black man on chair in getting physical activities and being outside

Being outdoors boosts energy levels

One of the benefits of being outside is that you can recharge your batteries and boost your energy levels. You don’t have to go backpacking to far-off countryside. Even a few minutes in a city park or side street has mental and physical health benefits. Just being able to look up at the sky and see a bit of greenery can boost your creativity.

Blood circulation benefits of being outside

For hundreds of thousands of years humans were hunting and gathering, wandering around in nature. Our bodies were not designed to sit at home for hours on end. Moderate-intensity exercises, such as hiking or light gardening, can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and improve circulation. The combination of exercise and spending time outside works wonders for your heart, blood and lungs.

Good for vision

Another benefit of being outside is that it is also good for your eyesight because you get to focus on objects near and far away. In this way you exercise the eye muscles and benefit from fresh air which boosts brain function. Too many of us spend far too much time on smartphones, computers or watching TV. This can lead to blurred vision, and dry or red eyes, as well as headaches and neck or back pain. Spending too much time indoors in artificial light can also lead to myopia.

Helps the immune system

Getting outside for a walk in the woods and nature helps boost your immune system. Research indicates that even short forest trips can have quite long-lasting positive impacts on the immune system. Such trips are great for reducing depression, anxiety, and stress, which are root causes of ill-health.

Another benefit of being outside is that it improves mood

One of the greatest benefits of being outdoors is improved mood because by simply looking at trees or dogs can bring a smile to your face. A lot of people enjoy watching children at play. Even spending some time chatting with a neighbor, strolling in the streets, or window shopping in the fresh air can be pleasant outside activities.

Being under stress can adversely affect your mood, be bad for your mental health, and lead to heart problems. While we are indoors there are many stressors such as phones and tablets that can wreak havoc on our health. Just spending time outside can relieve stress and improve your mood.