The positive health benefits of getting outside are huge, and now more than ever we need to think about our mental and physical health.
The last year has been difficult for everyone, and if I had to describe it in 3-words, I’d choose, challenging, overwhelming, and emotional. Not only have we had the pandemic to contend with, but we’ve also had the other curveballs that life likes to throw at us. Some people are dealing with loss and grief, while others are dealing the breakdown of a relationship, or losing their job. Many people have also been isolated and unable to have the company or support, they would usually have from friends or family.
The Positive Health Benefits of Getting Outside
Although it might feel hard, there are things we can do to help look after ourselves and our mental health. One of those things, is spending time outdoors. If this is something you can do, the health benefits of getting outside can be really positive and beneficial for your mental and physical well-being.
The current UK guidelines state we can currently leave the house to exercise once a day. We can also meet one other person from another household, to exercise with. I sometimes walk with my husband, and other days I go running alone. However, or whoever you choose to exercise with, make the most of your time outside. I always come home feeling refreshed and energised ready to tackle my day.
The positive health benefits of getting outside include:
- Reducing stress levels
- Strengthening our immune system
- Improving mental performance and helping us to gain clarity
- Helping to reduce blood pressure
- Increasing happiness
- Encouraging creativity
- Helping us to deal with the challenges of everyday life
- Improving our physical health and mental health
- Calming our mind and improving our emotional well-being
- Getting natural Vitamin D from sunlight
- Helping with mild to moderate depression
- Natural sunlight can help with seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- It can help improve sleep
- It can help boost self-esteem and lessen anxiety
Walk, Run or do Some Gardening
You don’t need to walk miles to gain the mental health benefits either, spending as little as 5-minutes outside can help you to feel better about yourself. You could even do some gardening if you prefer. We had a very successful vegetable patch at our old house, so one of the things we’re going to try this year is growing our own veg.
If like me, you enjoy being outside and exploring, you could use this time to get to know your local area better. If you run, you could use this time to switch up your training or enter a virtual race. This year I want to run longer distances, so I’ve just started experimenting with heart rate training. I’m finding it really enjoyable, and I can already see the positive changes it’s having on my running.
As you can see, the health benefits of getting outside are huge, and can have a really positive impact on our mental health and well-being. For more ideas on creating self-care routines, you can read my recent post What Does Self-Care Mean to You?
Are you doing any outdoor exercise at the moment? Are you training for anything? I’d love to hear in the comments below.