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6 Health Benefits of Being Outside

 
When we think of good health, we tend to think: regular exercise, a balanced diet and adequate rest. We sometimes forget that good health means simply stepping out the door and into nature, whatever the weather. Whether it’s a walk in the park or a hike up a hill, getting yourself outdoors (even though it can be cold in England!) can do a world of difference for your health.  
 

So, get your outdoor gear ready to go. In this article, we feature the top six health benefits of being outdoors 

1. Soak Up on Vitamin D 
Vitamin D is essential in the regulation of calcium and phosphorus in the body. These two work closely together to build strong bones and teeth. What sets vitamin D apart from the others is the fact that our bodies are responsible for producing it for our own benefit. Ten to fifteen minutes a day of unprotected exposure to the sun is enough for the skin to produce sufficient vitamin D.  
 
Those who are vitamin D deficient are more at risk for illnesses that strike the bones or kidneys, among others. 
 
Plus, a light tan looks good on anyone!  

2. Chill Out 
There’s a reason why going out for some fresh air helps calm you when you’re stressed or anxious. Getting outside and seeing trees, flowers or even just the sky can help boost the serotonin. It’s the brain messenger that affects the mood and makes you happy. This means you’re not only more at peace when you spend time outdoors. You’ll also be happier.  
 
Spending some time outside and in the sun also helps combat SAD or seasonal affective disorder. To read more on SAD and how you can beat it, click here. 

3. Solar Energy 
To be honest, no one looks forward to the afternoon slumps. It’s that space in the day right after lunch when you’re full and all you want to do is take a nap instead of work.  
 
To combat the slump and to get more energy to be able to finish the day strong, take a walk outside once you’re done eating. Walking especially when the sun is out will not only energise you, it will also help your digestion.  

4. Sleep Better 
It may sound counterintuitive but getting more exposure to the sun’s natural light can help regulate your body’s circadian rhythm (sleep/wake cycle). Spending too much time inside along with too much exposure to artificial light can disrupt this, causing sleep interruptions. Spending time outdoors can help regulate the body’s natural cycle, promoting better sleep.   

5. You’re Grounded 
Otherwise referred to as earthing, grounding refers to the practice of walking barefoot out in nature (sand, grass, etc). A study reported that grounding can have powerful anti-inflammatory effects on the body. This is on top of energising the body as well. All this is made possible by connecting our bodies to the Earth’s negative charge and absorbing its electrons simply by walking out in nature, barefoot.  

6. Clean Air 
Studies have shown that the air indoors may be worse than the air outside what with mold, fumes from cleaning products and other household chemicals along with poor ventilation. The cleanliness of the indoor air depends on where you live. As expected, urban areas can be unhealthier.  

Pollutants are everywhere, yes, but there’s a reason why nature thrives out in the open with the sun and the air. So, the next time you head out, don’t forget to savour the air.  
 
Spending time outdoors walking, running or hiking but even reading a book out in the sun in your own backyard can be enough. If you’re low on spare time, take your lunch al fresco. Walk barefoot out on the grass at a nearby park.  
 
There’s always a good enough reason to go outdoors, whatever the season. Even if it's cold and all you want to do is snuggle up under a pile of cosy blankets, nip outside every now and again and see how much better your body fares.

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