20 Jan Here’s Proof Going Outside Makes You Healthier
Summer is here, and we’re all for burgers, ocean breezes and an ice cream cone or two. But getting outside is about more than beaches and barbecues. Science shows that spending time in the great outdoors can actually make you healthier. Escaping to the woods, mountains or even your neighborhood park helps both your body and your brain.
Here are seven ways the outdoors make us healthier.
Getting outside makes exercise easier.
Research conducted at the University of Essex showed that the color green, such as that found on trees, grass and other plants in nature, makes exercise feel easier. The small study tested cyclists pedaling in front of green, gray and red images. Those exercising in front of the green showed less mood disturbances and reported that they felt lower exertion during their cycling. Plus, other research showed that those who exercise outside are more eager to return for a future workout than those who stick to the gym.
It can spur weight loss.
When John Muir wrote, “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings” in the Mountains of California, we kind of doubt he was talking about dropping a few pounds. But as it turns out, not only are the outdoors great for making exercise feel easier and often more enjoyable, but some outdoor elements — like those mountains — directly contribute to weight loss. Simply spending time at high altitude could help shed some pounds, even if you’re just visiting. The higher heights can speed up your metabolism, while actually lessening hunger cravings. So go ahead and plan those mountain escapes, hiking adventures and ski trip getaways.
Nature increases brain function.
Taking in a bit of nature can help your brain in more than one way. For starters, logging outdoor hours may increase concentration skills. One study compared concentration between children with ADHD who played outside, versus those who played inside, after school and on weekends. Kids who spent time in green, outdoor spaces reported fewer symptoms of ADHD, even when the exact same activities were compared.
Taking a stroll can also increase creativity. Research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that walking increases creative production. And while walking anywhere — whether through the woods or in a mall — is beneficial in that it prompts creativity, researchers found that the actual act of spending time outside also influences novelty.
Plus, all of that fresh air is a quick way to kick your brain into high gear. Ditch the caffeine and stick to a walk in the park. Some say that 20 minutes outside can wake you up just as much as one cup of coffee can.
It amps up vitamin D intake.
To read full article, visit the Huffington Post.