Can Spending More Time Outdoors Improve Your Health?

Can Spending More Time Outdoors Improve Your Health?

Centuries ago, people were driven to build structures that protected them from the elements. Being outdoors meant a greater risk to your health due to inhospitable weather, higher chances of catching an illness, and more opportunities to become injured. Nowadays, however, the world has been transformed so that many people spend a large portion of every day indoors. Being outside is a choice rather than a way of life, meaning that most of the previous threats have diminished. In fact, spending more time outside could help you to stay healthy. Here are a few examples of how enjoying the great outdoors could benefit your physical and mental wellbeing.

Detaching from the Digital

Although digital technology has brought the world so many useful and even life-saving innovations, it has also had a huge impact on the minds of individuals. Instant gratification has led to shorter attention spans and unprecedented shifts in social dynamics. Going outside is a great way to temporarily disconnect from the onslaught of information and let your mind relax. Some people say that forest bathing helps them to feel better. Leave your phone at home next time you go for a walk or, at the very least, switch it to airplane mode, so you aren’t distracted by notifications along the way.


Of course, it is important to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun, such as burning and melanoma. However, sunshine is also good for you. It encourages your skin to produce vitamin D, which helps keep bones strong. For people who suffer from hay fever, has treatments for you. Just because you are allergic to pollen doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the outside world. When you take the right precautions, you can experience nature without any discomfort or negative reactions.

Physical Fitness

You can exercise using gym equipment indoors and achieve an excellent workout. Choosing to exercise outside doesn’t necessarily make your overall fitness better. It does, however, provide some variety and mental stimulation that returning to the same gym environment cannot. If you go running, choose a different route occasionally to enjoy the unfamiliar scenery.

Observing Animals

Even if you aren’t a keen birdwatcher or have never considered yourself to have much of an affinity with animals, going outside and listening to the rustle of life around you can help to recharge your mind. Studies continue to demonstrate that interacting with a friendly dog or cat can help decrease stress.

Opportunities to be Sociable Not everyone is a social butterfly, but that doesn’t mean that being sociable is any less beneficial to a person’s health. Going outdoors provides you with far more chances to talk to people, either friends or strangers. It may not be the most comfortable experience every time, but humans need interaction to stay healthy. Staying indoors makes this much more difficult to do. While online communication is getting better all the time, nothing can yet replace all the sensations and micro-expressions that come with talking to someone face-to-face.

Ayesha Butt
the authorAyesha Butt

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