Full disclosure: during my time in New Zealand, I fell in love with the great outdoors harder than ever before.
I did outside activities, I went for long hikes, and I got to see incredible natural landscapes on a daily basis.
And do you know what? It had such amazing benefits for my physical fitness, mental health and overall wellbeing.
In fact, the whole experience made me realise just how much I’d lost touch with nature since I was a kid.
Do you remember how we used to play outside for hours on end with friends or siblings during school holidays?
As well as making up games and devising dance routines in the park, we skated (somewhat poorly) up and down the country roads near our houses. We made the most of being outdoors in the fresh air. We lived.
Nowadays, many of us spend most of our time holed up indoors on our laptops and smartphones. Granted, we’re not kids anymore, but what about those who are still kids? They’re opting to stay inside too.
Granted, times are a little uncertain right now thanks to the rise of coronavirus. However, those of us who are 100% healthy still need to step away from technology, breathe in that fresh air and get back to nature as much as we can. And here are 7 reasons why.
Benefits of spending time in nature 101: you have to leave the house to surround yourself in nature.
And when you leave the house to find a stunning scenic spot or go on a remote hike, you’re exercising. You’re improving your physical fitness and kickstarting those all-important endorphins, thus boosting your energy levels.
It’s a win-win situation.
When you stimulate endorphins by leaving the house to exercise, this also has an effect on your mood.
I find that even if I was grumbling at everything and everyone before getting back to nature, my mood automatically improves as soon as I step foot outside.
It reduces feelings of depression and anxiety and generally makes you a calmer, happier you.
In addition to aiding your mental health, one of the best benefits of spending time in nature is that it clears your mind of any distractions.
I mean, there’s nothing like getting away from any signs of life “off the beaten track” to make you feel at ease with the world.
It’s peaceful, it puts things into perspective and makes all your worries feel small or insignificant compared to the vastness of the planet.
Immersing yourself in nature also means that you may get to see incredible views and experience new things that you’ve never experienced before.
Push yourself to do different things and venture to places you’ve never been to before and you won’t regret it.
And stick to getting around by foot, because it’s impossible to have a comparable experience via a moving vehicle.
The improvement to your skin health is one of the biggest benefits of spending time in nature.
I mean, I’m guilty of spending hours indoors every day because of what I do for a living. And do you know what? The artificial air is slowly but surely drying out my facial skin.
Being out in the fresh air opens up your pores, removes toxins and allows your skin to breathe better. The oxygen in the air is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and gives you a glow like nothing else.
Additionally, being surrounded by nature in the sunshine will provide you with that much-needed vitamin D.
And the body needs vitamin D for a number of reasons.
For instance, it’s essential for gut health and absorbing calcium and phosphorus. These two minerals ultimately help you to maintain strong and healthy bones.
Finally, spending time in nature and being exposed to vitamin D and the fresh air will help you sleep better.
And who doesn’t love improved sleep quality, right?
Personally, I find that long days of exploring as I’m travelling means that I’m often in the land of nod before my head even hits the pillow.
And as a result, I wake up the next day feeling well-rested and more refreshed. Awesome.
The bottom line is that I’m pretty sure that healthy humans aren’t meant to spend days in hibernation. We didn’t do it during the cavemen days so I don’t think we’re supposed to be doing it now (unless you’ve been told to self-isolate). Am I right?
I know we all have those days where we’re busy, tired and struggling to human, but it’s important to embrace the great outdoors as much as we can. Even if you can only afford 30 minutes.
After all, the benefits of spending time in nature speak for themselves.
How much time do you spend outdoors in nature? Do you find it makes you feel good? Let me know in the comments!
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