5 Health Benefits of Being Outdoors

Almost everyone (except landscape gardeners and farmers) spends most of their time indoors. The extreme British weather makes it hard for one to commune comfortably with nature. The benefits associated with going outside and communing with nature are however worth every moment, reasons you too should consider going out.

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With May the National Walking Month, and this week marking the Outdoor Classroom Day, what a better way to get outdoors that take advantage of these. The Clarity Clinic use the benefits of outdoors in their therapy. Some of the reasons, and benefits, of going outdoors are discussed below.

1. It's Good for Your Family

According to statistics released by NHS England, the number of obese children in the country is increasing at an alarming rate. This has been linked to the increased screen time and less physical activity that these children get. Encouraging your children to play outside, or participate in outdoor activities is one of the best ways to reduce screen time and promote physical activity. The idea of encouraging children to go outdoors isn’t new; it dates back in open-air culture or 'fruitsliv' in Scandinavia where children take their early education in forest schools. This has been the practice since 1993 where children attend sessions in a natural woodland setting.

Outdoor Classroom Day also aims at raising awareness of the benefits of playing outside and outdoor learning. The movement has identified numerous advantages of the same including an improvement in a child's behavior and increased excitement levels.

2. A Free And Adventurous Way To Get Fit

You don’t have to spend a dime to enjoy the numerous benefits of communing with nature. You can either go for bird watching in the park (with binoculars) or even make it more interesting by taking on a nature scavenger hunt. Having a scrapbook with you should make it possible to record all your findings for future reference, and memories. Going outdoors for adventure is one of the best ways to make your family entertained for hours, as well as create new memories.

Walking outdoors is also good for your health. Walking encourages improved blood flow and good for your heart health as well. According to the British Heart Foundation, walking regularly reduces the risk of developing a heart condition.

3. Promotes Mental Health

Stepping outside or simply taking a nature walk in the park has a positive impact on your health and wellbeing. You don’t necessarily have to travel to far off countries to breath the fresh air that nature has to offer, the garden at the back is enough to give you just that. Many people with office jobs take on gardening as a way to relieve stress. Gardening enables them to breathe fresh air as well as get the much-needed sunshine that helps the body release endorphins and other feel-good hormones. It can also be considered as a form of exercise that keeps your mind clear and refreshed.

4. Improved Physical Health

An hour of gardening/weeding helps the body burn at least 100 calories. This leaves your body healthier and feeling energized. Cutting grass outside also helps you burn an extra 200 calories as well. While it may seem like a simple exercise, gardening and mowing the lawn will help burn more calories and fat, as well as keep your body well-toned than merely paying a video game.

While following a strict exercise routine may help you burn the extra calories, getting outdoors provides a more friendly approach to toning down. Simply taking a walk with a group of similar-minded people, or participating in outdoor events is good for both physical and mental health.

5. Promotes Brain Health

Stepping outside helps replenish your Vitamin D supply, and also helps regulate the natural circadian cycle. That said, you will be able to sleep much better than if you spend the entire day indoors. According to The Dementia Center, putting in some form of exercise outdoors helps improve memory function while combating cognitive decline.

The more active you are, the healthier you will be. That translates to cheaper health insurance premiums. From the benefits outlined above, going outside is far more beneficial (for your health and financially) than staying indoors.

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