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The Health Benefits of Getting Outside

Being outdoors can do wonders for our health, both mentally and physically. But in the winter, the cold, rain, snow, and wind can make going outside the last thing we want to do.

While we are all for a cozy morning spent cuddled up with a warm blanket, or an evening by the fire, there are good reasons to make sure you still get outside on a regular basis. Here are just a few of the endless benefits that can come from being outdoors.

Natural Mood Booster

study conducted by the University of Michigan found that getting outside was linked to fewer incidents of depression and lower stress levels. Being outdoors can also increase levels of serotonin, the feel good neurotransmitter.

I think we can all agree that after being cooped up in the office or at home, stepping outside for some fresh air can feel great. So make time to go for a quick walk during your lunch break, or walk down to get the mail. Even a short breather can make a big difference on your mood.

Improves Concentration

Stepping out into the fresh air can be a great way to kick your brain into gear. Studies have also shown that spending more time outside is associated with better concentration, specifically in children with ADHD.

After a morning spent staring at your computer screen, your brain can probably use a refresh. Try taking a brisk walk to get some coffee, or playing with the dog in the yard for ten minutes.

Make Exercise More Enjoyable

Sometimes, the thought of stepping onto the treadmill for a three mile run, or hopping on an indoor bike for a quick ride, can be downright unpleasant. But running through a beautiful park, or biking down a winding trail? We’ll take that any day.

Motivate yourself to be active by finding an uplifting location outdoors. Find a local park and take a walk with friends, or head to the nearest running trail. Your workout will seem to go by a lot faster when you’re enjoying the perks of the great outdoors, not stuck inside with a timer in front of your face.

So even if it’s cold outside, bundle up and try to enjoy a few minutes outdoors each day. It doesn’t have to be much — a ten minute walk or quick round of frisbee with the pup can be all you need. You’ll be so happy you did.

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