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5 Health Benefits of Spending Time Outdoors by Laing Self Storage


Laing Self Storage Binghamton

Due to the advancement of technology, individuals are increasingly staying indoors for longer periods. This has led to the current era being labeled as the "indoor generation", with numerous studies suggesting that Americans spend approximately 90% of their time indoors.


While it might be tempting to relax on the couch or stay indoors with air conditioning and wifi, there is a reason why they refer to it as the great outdoors. Being in nature has been associated with various physical and mental health advantages, such as enhancing mood and lowering the risk of illness. You don't need to go to extremes to enjoy the health benefits of nature; simply spending some time in the fresh air and sunlight can enhance your overall well-being. Even dedicating just 20 to 30 minutes a day can have a positive impact. You don't need to take a cold plunge or climb Everest to experience these benefits.


If you're seeking motivation to spend more time outside, you've come to the right place. Discover how nature can enhance your well-being, from your emotions to your thoughts.


1. Reduces stress, anxiety, and depression

If you have ever been told to "get some fresh air," you probably understand the calming effect of being outdoors. Spending time outside can serve as a beneficial way to reset, recharge, and take a break from mentally taxing activities — and scientific research supports these positive impacts on mental health. According to a 2019 study published in Frontiers of Psychology, just 20 minutes spent outdoors, whether engaging in physical activity or simply relaxing, can notably reduce stress hormone levels. Similarly, various studies have shown decreased stress and anxiety levels, as well as alleviation of depressive symptoms, in individuals who have spent time in forests and natural settings compared to those who have walked in urban areas.


In another study from 2019, it was found that individuals who had access to green spaces experienced "significantly better mental health outcomes." The general consensus seems to be that spending time in nature leads to increased positive emotions and reduced depression.


2. Improves memory and cognition

If you want to give your brain a boost, consider heading to a park. Studies indicate that spending time outdoors can enhance creativity, increase focus and concentration, and improve memory. For instance, a research conducted by the University of Michigan revealed that people experienced a 20% improvement in short-term memory and attention span after just one hour of nature interaction. Another study showed that children with ADHD showed better concentration levels after spending just 20 minutes in a park. Even the natural sounds, such as chirping crickets and birdsong, can have a positive impact on cognitive function.


3. Boosts heart health

Spending time outside can have positive effects on your heart health as well. One key way it achieves this is through physical activity. Engaging with nature encourages and facilitates exercise, which is crucial for your overall health. The American Heart Association (AHA) states that regular physical activity can help reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, while also enhancing circulation and fortifying the heart. Additionally, exercise is an effective method to lower the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. However, the heart-healthy advantages of being in nature extend beyond just exercise. As previously mentioned, spending time outdoors is linked to decreased stress levels, which can also positively impact heart health. Various studies have demonstrated that outdoor time can decrease cortisol and blood pressure levels, as well as heart rates — all of which are factors contributing to cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, you do not need to be an avid hiker or venture into remote camping areas to experience these benefits. For example, a recent study conducted in Australia observed a decrease in cases of high blood pressure among adults who spent just 30 minutes in green spaces per week.


4. Supports longevity

Spending time outdoors could potentially increase your lifespan. According to a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, a higher exposure to green spaces was linked to a 12% decrease in mortality rates. This finding aligns with various research studies that have connected nature time to a reduced risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and certain cancers. Examining the Blue Zones (five regions worldwide with notably long-living populations), it becomes evident that these communities dedicate a significant portion of their time to outdoor activities. For example, the Sardinian Italians partake in daily post-meal strolls known as passeggiata, while the Nicoyans of Costa Rica engage in farming and horseback riding.


5. Enhances sleep

To ensure a restful night's sleep, spend more time outdoors during the day. According to a study published in Preventative Medicine, increased outdoor time is linked to improved sleep quality. Research also indicates that exposure to natural sunlight can help regulate the body's internal clock, or circadian rhythm. A study in the U.K. revealed that greater exposure to natural light is connected to better sleep, and another study demonstrated that natural light can assist in falling asleep earlier, staying asleep longer, and enhancing sleep quality. Conversely, studies have shown that a lack of natural light during the day can result in sleep disturbances at night.


There are numerous advantages to be gained from simply immersing ourselves in the natural world. In a time when we are heavily reliant on computers, phones, and televisions (and increasingly leading a sedentary, indoor lifestyle), there are a multitude of benefits waiting for us once we step outside. Whether it's going for a walk or jog, having a picnic, playing with your dog, planning a beach day, painting outdoors, gardening, playing a casual game of soccer or basketball, or having lunch outside the office, both your mind and body will express gratitude.



 

For temperature controlled storage or non temperature controlled storage call 607-775-9776 or visit www.laingselfstorage.com. We have locations in Endwell, Endicott, Binghamton, & Conklin.

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