5 Health Benefits of Spending Time in the Great Outdoors

April 20, 2023

Health Hack

Spring is a time of rejuvenation! You’re setting new goals, cleaning out your house, and getting back outside after a long, dark winter. But spring isn’t just great for stretching your legs — getting outside in the sunshine (or April showers) can be great for your physical and mental health, too. Here’s how!

1. Improve your mental health

Taking a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and spending time in nature is a great way to refresh your state of mind. We’re constantly surrounded by flashing screens, vibrating phones, and loud city noises that can compete for our attention, causing overstimulation and chronic stress.

The natural world can give you a break from all that, which can help reduce stress and anxiety, boost your mood, and increase feelings of well-being. Whether it's taking a leisurely hike through the woods, finding a quiet spot to read a book, or just sitting by a lake or river, simply being in nature has been proven to have a positive effect on your mental health.

2. Strengthen your immune system

Did you know that spending time outdoors can improve your immune system? Vitamin D, synthesized when your body is exposed to sunlight, is a crucial component to a healthy immune system, but that’s not the only benefit. Studies have shown that the fresh air and exposure to natural environments can help boost your immune system, making you more resilient to infections and diseases. Going for a hike or a bike ride, exploring a nearby park, or taking a camping trip are all great ways to get outdoors and ward off the dreaded summer cold.

3. Stay physically fit

Staying physically active can help reduce stress, boost your immune system, strengthen your heart and muscles, keep your bones strong, and tons of other health benefits — and no spin class or treadmill will ever compare to exercising outside!

From hiking and biking to kayaking and surfing — or simply going for a brisk walk — there are endless ways to get moving and challenge your body. You’ll not only get all the benefits of simply being outside in the fresh air and sunshine, but you’ll also reduce your risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

4. Reduce depression symptoms

From depression to seasonal affective disorder to good old cabin fever, it’s well known that the long, dark days of winter can have a seriously negative effect on your mental health. Of course, every case of depression is different, and we’re certainly not saying that a walk around the block is a replacement for medication or therapy. 

But it helps! Studies have shown that being in nature can reduce the risk of depression and improve overall mental health. Whether it's a walk in the park, a camping trip, or simply taking your workout outside, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the benefits of nature and improve your mood.

5. Get Better Sleep

If you're struggling to get a good night's sleep, spending time outdoors may help. Exposure to natural light and fresh air can help regulate your circadian rhythm and improve the quality of your sleep. Taking a relaxing walk or sitting outside to read a book or meditate before bed can help prepare your body for a restful night's sleep.

Talk to ZoomCare

Overall, spending time outdoors is a fantastic way to improve your overall health and well-being. Whether you're looking to improve your mental health, boost your immune system, or get in shape, there are countless benefits to spending time in nature. And for any health problems that spending time outdoors can't solve, ZoomCare offers same-day appointments and a wide variety of care and treatment options. We’ll see you out there!

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