It will probably not surprise you that being outdoors is very healthy, but did you know that it also makes you happier? Scientific studies have shown for years that nature is good for our health, and yet most people dive on their couch to watch TV after a day of work. Since a year or two I actually don’t do any indoor sports anymore, I said goodbye to the white walls in the gym and go outside (and yes, it still feels comfortable to relax on the couch as well). I love to go the the beach for a kitesurf session or a walk, to the heath to run or to take my mountainbike into the forest.
10 reasons to spend more time outside
1. Walking in nature can improve your short-term memory
Studies show that outdoor walks (in nature) have a positive effect on the memory that other walks don’t have. Nature walks stimulate your working memory more than city walks.
2. Being outside reduces stress
A study in which students were sent into the forest for 2 nights showed that they had a lower cortisol level than those who stayed in the city. Even being able to look at nature from your office can already contribute to a lower stress level.
3. Being outside reduces fatigue
Do you know that feeling that your brain is really done with it? For example, after a busy day at work? This is called “mental fatigue.” To let your mind relax again, it helps to expose yourself to a “restorative environment” such as nature.
4. Being outside helps fight depression and anxiety
Depressions, anxiety and other psychological problems are alleviated by nature, especially in combination with exercise. The presence of water makes the positive effect even stronger.
5. Being outside protects your view
Several studies in children have shown that being outdoors has a protective effect on the eyes and can reduce the risk of myopia.
6. Spending time outdoors lowers blood pressure
Spending more time outside, in combination with walking, for example, lowers blood pressure.
7. Being able to focus better
In addition to the fact that outdoor has a “healing” effect on your brain, it also ensures that you can focus better (of course there is a connection here). The effect of nature is so strong that one of the studies says it could help children with ADHD to concentrate better.
8. It makes you more creative
Writers block? According to various studies, being outside contributes to your creativity. People who spend their time in nature are more encouraged to act creatively in a problem-solving way. A walk or a quiet bike ride in nature is enough to give the creative mind an extra boost.
9. Strengthening the immune system
It has been shown that being outside (in the forest) gives your immune system a boost. Because of the often cooler outside air, pathogens have less chance of survival. Spending time in nature also increases the activity of the white blood cells. The more white blood cells in the body, the better the resistance.
10. Outdoor makes you happier
Research from Wageningen Environmental Research has shown that when people are outside they feel happier in a green environment than in a “stone” environment. This “happiness supplement” is highest on the coast, in moorland and in grasslands. In addition, we have known for years that daylight is essential for your happiness (and health).
Source: Business Insider