The Great Outdoors Makes You Feel Good Inside

The Great Outdoors Makes You Feel Good Inside

Today, our lives are occupied by cell phones, TV streaming services and sitting in front of computers. It’s no surprise that the only time some of us may spend outdoors is hopping in the car to go to work or while running an errand.

However, it’s greatly important to make time to enjoy the outdoors. Spending time outside on a daily basis is beneficial to one’s mental, emotional and physical health.

Being outside reduces inflammation.

Chronic pain sufferers can benefit from soaking in the sun if a flare-up strikes. A Japanese study found that spending time in a green space—a forest, in the study’s case—decreased inflammation in the participants’ bodies. This phenomenon was named “shinrin-yoku,” which translates to “forest bath.”

No need to run off to a forest, though; this positive reaction to nature can be achieved in any setting where one is surrounded by greenery, even if your chosen green space is your backyard.

The outdoors has healing energy.

Spending time outside is easily a form of self-care. The calmness of nature can lower your cortisol levels, which, in turn, lowers stress. In fact, ecotherapy is a psychological practice that uses the outdoors as a method of reducing depression and aggression while simultaneously boosting creativity and productivity.

Threshold, a mental health organization located in Chicago, Ill., has a gardening program for veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorders. Tending to flowers at Chicago Botanical Garden helps give a sense of comfort and purpose to its members.

By utilizing outdoor activities like horticulture, meditation and physical exercise, people may feel closer to nature and more at peace with themselves.

Fresh air can boost your immunity.

A “phytoncide” is a chemical released by many things in nature, such as soil, trees, leaves and plants. When inhaled, these substances stimulate the body to increase white blood cell production.

In the previously mentioned “forest bathing” study, preliminary results found that spending time in places with lots of trees—where more phytoncides are present—may aid the body’s production of “natural killer” white blood cells that attack cancerous cells.

Time spent outdoors supports healthy aging.

Since Tabitha’s Purpose is to empower people to live joyfully, age gratefully, it’s no wonder we would encourage you to go outside if it makes you happier and keeps you healthy!

According to a study in the Journal of Aging and Health, in adults over the age of 70, going outside daily correlates to better sleep, improved mobility and reduced cognitive decline. Additionally, students at the University of Michigan participated in a study that found nature walks may improve short-term memory. Since short-term memory is integral to the retention of long-term knowledge, keeping one’s mind sharp is a key to healthy mental aging.

Spending time outside provides people with a plethora of nutrients—like Vitamin D—that aid in infection control, mood regulation and many other functions. Whether it be going for a jog, working in the garden or lounging in a hammock, taking time to be present and soak up some sun could very well be a way to benefit one’s body and overall spirit.

For answers to all your aging questions, start with Tabitha. Contact a Tabitha Care Expert today.