Most of us spend our workdays indoors under artificial lights in front of a computer screen. Then we go home and plop down in front of the TV continuing to bask in the glow of yet another screen. Unfortunately, so much time spent inside is having a negative effect on our physical and mental health.
Psychologists and health researchers have linked too much time indoors to increased risk of depression, obesity, diabetes and other health problems.
They have found that staying inside most of the day messes with our internal clock and sleep patterns, appetite, immunity as well as our bones and muscles. It goes without saying that we need to unplug and go outside! Thankfully, spending time in nature is a lot of fun and probably the easiest way to improve our health.
Boost Your Energy Levels
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, low on energy and craving another dose of caffeine, take a walk. The natural light that your body will absorb through your retinas will melt away mental fatigue because it restricts the release of stress hormones. In fact, spending about 20 minutes outside can boost your physical or mental energy by 40%, the equivalent of one cup of coffee. Add that to the mind-clearing effects of fresh air and you’ll be feeling lighter and more energetic within no time.
Improve Your Eyesight
People who spend more time outdoors are less likely to develop nearsightedness. This is because natural light is essential to normal eye development, especially in kids.
This is not to say that you should expose your eyes to the sun’s UV rays. Remember to wear your UV-blocking sunglasses and hats and to enjoy better eyesight.
Boost Your Immunity
Breathing in the airborne chemicals that plants produce is good for your immune system. It triggers an increase in white blood cells which are essential to fighting off diseases and infections.
Going outdoors also helps to reduce inflammation which is associated with inflammatory bowel disease and autoimmune disorders. There’s evidence that patients who spend more time outdoors experience less pain.
Get Your Daily Dose of Vitamin D
There’s no better way to get your daily dose of Vitamin D than going outside. This is because Vitamin D-rich foods do not contain enough of this vitamin to meet your body’s requirements.
Vitamin D is essential for your health because it helps your body absorb calcium, thus preventing osteoporosis and reducing inflammation. It’s also an immune booster.
Spending time outdoors is so much fun and very good for your body and mind. And remember this encouraging information if you happen to live an urban area, green spaces such as parks are just as beneficial as forests in many ways. So get outside and start living life more fully today!