As we enter May, the promise of two bank holidays and summer on the horizon is a good enough reason to start getting outdoors (if you haven’t already). However, if you’re a home comforts kind of person and prefer sitting in front of the telly instead of breathing in some fresh air, we’ve compiled a list of reasons you should get outside more. You never know; it may just make you see what the great outdoors can offer.
Psychologists believe that being in nature can help us to relax and feel calmer. It’s thought it can help us remember the more essential things in life and allow us to leave behind society’s pressures and reduce our stress.
One study found that spending just 20 minutes outside in fresh air gives your brain an energy boost equivalent to a cup of coffee. Other studies have found that a quick walk nearby can restore our focus.
Studies suggest that when outside, we are exposed to more germs which can challenge our immune system. Although this may not sound like a good thing, your immune system works better when working more. Scientists have found that being outside increases our levels of white blood cells, helping us fight off infections and diseases better.
Some research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that a walk increased creative production. If you’re suffering from writer’s block, it could be time to ditch the electronics and get outdoors.
Getting out in the fresh air can help you sleep better. There are two schools of thought as to why this might be. The first is that those who venture outside more tend to engage in more physical activity, helping you sleep. The other is that being outdoors can reduce stress which can lead to a better night’s sleep.
A study by the Journal of Aging and Health found that adults over the age of 70 that spent time outdoors experienced fewer aches and pains, had better sleep and had better mobility and ability to perform daily tasks.