Remember the good old days when all you did after school was play outside with your neighborhood friends? Nowadays, kids are spending more and more time inside and summers are no longer the endless outdoor adventures they used to be. So how has this impacted our health? While being in an air-conditioned room away from dangerous UV rays might seem like a healthier option, the fresh air and sunshine could do wonders for your mood, concentration, and health. Here are 4 benefits of the outdoors.
Sun rays naturally increase the serotonin in our body, a hormone that affects our mood. Higher levels of serotonin can help ward off depression, anxiety, and seasonal affective disorder and the added endorphins your body produces after exercise will have you feeling even better. If you want the benefits of sunshine on a cloudy day try our Beurer Daylight Lamp, TL50! It has a light intensity of 10,000 lux to combat seasonal affective disorder and elevate your mood.
Aside from the added levels of serotonin, sunshine also helps balance your sleep cycle. The light rays block melatonin production, the hormone responsible for sleep. Even a few minutes of sunshine can help you feel more active and awake. If you suffer from insomnia, you are experiencing high levels of anxiety that throw you off your sleep cycle. Lucky for you, spending time outside can help reduce stress and anxiety, giving you a break from sleepless nights.
You’ll burn more calories
Studies have shown that people who run and jog outside burn 10% more calories than those who exercise using an indoor treadmill. When you’re exercising outside, you’re exposed to a lot of stimulations and distractions, which keep your mind off the pain and fatigue from exercising. One study showed people who exercised outside trained 12% harder than those on a treadmill. But outdoor exercise doesn’t just make you work harder and burn more calories. It also helps you work out longer! Another study compared outdoor exercise with indoor exercise and found that those who worked out outside spent an extra 30 minutes exercising than those who worked out inside. Want to see for yourself? Try one week of inside workouts and compare it to a week of outdoor workouts! Track your progress with our Beurer Bluetooth Smart Activity Sensor Fitness Tracker, AS81.
When you spend time in nature, your cortisol levels drop, making you feel relaxed and peaceful. Cortisol is a stress hormone that regulates your blood pressure, keeps inflammation down, and increases your blood sugar. Research has shown that spending time in nature significantly reduces cortisol levels and lowers your blood pressure. One study found that people who spend 2 or more hours a week in nature reported better physical and mental health than those who didn’t spend time in nature. If you suffer from high blood pressure, or high-stress levels try spending time in nature! A little fresh air and sunshine go a long way.
There are too many benefits of spending time in the outdoors to ignore. Next time you’re bored at home, try going for a nature walk! Just make sure you’re protected with enough sunscreen and water so you get all the benefits of sunshine without the risks.