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GET OUTSIDE | Healing Habits Week 6

Have you ever had a bad day, felt terribly stressed, and then went outside and instantly experienced a sense of relief? Was it the sunshine on your face? A light breeze? Getting outside really does make you feel better!

Just like plants, sunshine and fresh air are important for humans to have healthy lives. The outdoors are a great place to try on your new healing habits, especially exercise. A little fresh air and outdoor activity can be a great replacement for one of your old unhealthy habits. Being outdoors also allows your body to absorb sunlight. Sunlight is essential for our bodies, as it stimulates the production of Vitamin Dwhich is essential for many of the body’s most basic functions.

Here are a few reasons listed by Business Insider on why getting outside is good for you:

  • It can improve short term memory! Business Insider states the following: “In one study, University of Michigan students were given a brief memory test, then divided into two groups. One group took a walk around an arboretum, and the other took a walk down a city street. When the participants returned and did the test again, those who had walked among trees did almost 20% percent better than they had first time. The people who had taken in city sights instead did not consistently improve” (2018).
  • In one study it was found that being outside can help lower your heart rate (in a good way!) and increase levels of cortisol, which is found to be higher in people with more stress. This can lead to physiological stress and higher inflammation throughout the body, causing harm over time.
  • Being outside can help reduce fatigue. Even looking at pictures of nature can help to decrease fatigue.
  • Spending time in the outdoors can help mitigate depression and anxiety, especially if paired with exercise. The presence of a body of water helps even more! One study found that walking in a forest helps to reduce anxiety and bad moods.
  • Being in nature can help lower blood pressure. One intensive study of 280 participants in Japan found that along with decreasing stress hormone concentrations by more than 15%, a walk in the forest lowered participants’ average pulse by almost 4%, and lowered blood pressure by just over 2%.

That all being said, what are you waiting for?

Get outside!

But wait!

If spending time outdoors, especially away from the safety of your home, always keep a few things in mind:

  • Wear sunscreen!
  • Take plenty of water & snacks.
  • Let others know where you are going and how long you think you’ll be gone.
  • Bring a light jacket or sweater.
  • Make sure your phone is charged.

I hope you found this post interesting, and that it also inspires you to get outside. Be sure to follow VG Wellness on all of our social media to see tips for healthy living and to be inspired to spend more time outdoors. I’ll be posting daily, so I look forward to seeing you!