As parents, many of us encourage our kids to play outside, while we stay indoors most of the time. The truth is we can all benefit from time spent outdoors. Here are some of the health benefits to doing so:
Vitamin D. The sun is a great source for Vitamin D, supplying us with an essential hormone to maintaining a healthy immune system. Studies have shown that getting enough Vitamin D from natural sources (sunlight) prevents diabetes, auto immune disorders, multiple sclerosis, and heart disease.
When you spend more time outside your eye health also improves. Lots of us spend hours in front of computer screens developing Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). With CVS you’re at risk of blurred vision, double vision, dry/red eyes, irritated eyes, headaches, and back and neck pain. Spending more time outdoors allows your eyes an opportunity to focus on objects that are more than two feet away from your face and helps to prevent or even reverse these symptoms.
Another benefit to spending more time outdoors is improved sleep. When you spend too much time indoors, and away from natural light, you risk disrupting your body’s circadian rhythm. Spending more time outdoors and in natural light can recalibrate your sleep cycle.
While out door pollution is bad for your health, indoor pollution is far worse and can lead to health risks like heart disease, lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, and asthma attacks. Walks and hiking not only help you get the dose of fresh air your body needs, it’s also a way to get some exercise and a change in scenery.
Finally, time spent outdoors has a positive impact on our mental health. Research shows that spending time in nature improves attention spans, boosts serotonin, and increases activity in the parts of the brain responsible for empathy, love, and emotional stability.
When you’re feeling down, spend more time outdoors.