A huge problem with today’s highly-connected society is the inability to escape news and current events anytime we’re near a connected device. While you might think that makes for a more informed population, the opposite is true.
This time of year, many Americans suffer from seasonal depression bought on by spending too much time trapped indoors. Not spending enough time outdoors can cause a long list of health problems.
And if you’re spending all your time sitting inside following the endless media cycle, you’re already taxed body is likely dealing with unnecessary stress.
Luckily, spending as little as an extra five minutes outdoors every day can do wonders for your wellbeing.
According to the Harvard Health Review, here are just a few of the benefits you can get from spending more time outdoors:
Your vitamin D levels rise. Sunlight hitting the skin begins a process that leads to the creation and activation of vitamin D. Studies suggest that this vitamin helps fight certain conditions, from osteoporosis and cancer to depression and heart attacks. Limited sun exposure (don’t overdo it), supplemented with vitamin D pills if necessary, is a good regiment.
You’ll get more exercise. If you make getting outside a goal, that should mean less time in front of the television and computer and more time walking and doing other things that put the body in motion.
You’ll be happier. Light tends to elevate people’s mood, and there’s usually more light available outside than in. Physical activity has been shown to help people relax and cheer up, so if being outside replaces inactive pursuits with active ones, it might also mean more smiles.
Your concentration will improve. Children with ADHD seem to focus better after being outdoors. It might be a stretch to say that applies to adults, but if you have trouble concentrating, outdoor activity may help.
You may heal faster. In one study, people recovering from spinal surgery experienced less pain and stress and took fewer pain medications when they were exposed to natural light. An older study showed that the view out the window (trees vs. a brick wall) helped recovery in the hospital.