For those in cooler climates the summer is their chance to go outside without having to bundle up in a few layers. Even so, we meet people from time to time (from both cold and warm climates) that seclude themselves indoors for a majority of their free time. We get it.. After a long week of work dealing with tourists or deadlines, or other stresses and possibly a lack of sleep (especially in the recent heat!) the easy thing to do is to melt into the count to indefinitely watch Netflix. But if you can resist that temptation and find some rejuvenation outdoors, you’ll be better off for it!
Being outside is important to mental and physical health because natural light reduces stress and can actually boost your mood nearly immediately; and in addition to more exercise there are physical benefits from the sun including reduced inflammation, improved immune system and easier to sleep. It has even been said that going outdoors will make you more creative as well as a sharper thinker.
The benefits of being outside are vast, so we delve into some of the bigger ones below as well as some extra ideas and tips.
Mental Benefits and Physical Benefits
The physical benefits besides getting more exercise are much more prevalent than someone might think. Getting the right amount of vitamin D from the sun can be tough when working all day inside an office, so literally going on a walk during lunch and break times will physically benefit you.
Being outside can also reduce inflammation in many people. A study was conducted that those living around forests and other natural areas suffered much less inflammation than their city dwelling counterparts. The University of Wisconsin found that that living in areas with less than a 10 percent tree cover were found to have more instances of depression and anxiety than those who lived with more trees around. The interesting part of this is that race, income, or education played no part in this at all as the results were consistent throughout all factors.
How does being outside reduce stress?
Natural light reduces stress and boosts your mood. Restoring mental energy by doing something active simply like taking a long walk can rejuvenate a person by when they return to the office after lunch. Additionally, exercises for breathing deeply and centering your mind can help produce endorphins which have a myriad of health benefits.
Of course, physical activity also does this and has been proven to increase productivity and moods. Triggering the release of these endorphins can be done daily and it can certainly help your career and your daily life. It will help stimulate effective work relationships and even has been shown to help increase productive collaboration in the office.
Some Fun Ideas and Safety Tips
One of the most relaxing things that can be done outside is going to the beach. If you’re not near the ocean like us, many lakes, rivers and lagoons have beaches, too!! A beach is always full of different activities to suit your personal liking, and even something as simple as walking along the shore can be the workout you need for the day. Paddle boarding, body surfing and swimming are all great ways to have a blast outside while also exercising. Get some fins for body surfing the waves or swimming to a buoy with more leg power.
As the season winds down and shifts to fall, you should consider one of our high quality rashguards as they help keep in body heat as well as protect skin from getting irritated. Not to mention, these rash guards can also help with the few bumps and bruises along the way that come with body surfing.
Taking a short walk and just sitting in nature is a great way to unwind from a stressful day or week. Hydration also affects your mood so don’t forget to bring a water bottle. And we always advise wearing one of our snapback hats and some shades to shield your eyes and stay comfortable.
Keep Switching It Up
The spice of life truly is variety and even some of your favorite activities can start to seem mundane if done the same way for a while. The easiest way to keep yourself prepared for a random outing and adventure is to keep at least some basic athletic, water sports apparel and gear in your vehicle. This could include quick-drying hiking gear of some kind or even some stylish and comfortable retro shorts and sandals, and perhaps a volleyball, frisbee or some other kind of sports gear.
There are groups of people online who want to stay active and try new things, and encourage others to do the same. Join one of these groups to try something that you would have never before thought of attempting.
Start making going outside a part of your daily or weekly life and it will easily become a habit in just a matter of weeks. Be proactive about trying to live a more active lifestyle! That’s the start of something amazing for both your body and mind.