Benefits of Outdoor Activities

Benefits of Outdoor Activities

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In our modern world, many of us spend the most of our time indoors. Conformity, technical gadgets, and working conditions make our lifestyle mostly indoors. For that reason, we forget all the benefits of outdoor activities that we have for centuries. Not only that we have devoid ourselves of health benefits, but also suffer from the consequences. The first thing we lack is vitamin D. According to experts, vitamin D deficiency reaches pandemic proportions. A deficiency of this essential vitamin, causes many health issues such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, and so on. Studies have shown that spending time outdoors, especially, in sunlight, can boost our mood and alleviate symptoms of depression. A recent research suggests that people who spend a little time outside have 11 times greater risk to develop depression than people who go outside on a regular basis for at least 30 minutes. Moreover, people who tend to be outside for longer periods are more active. If we take into account that a majority of people spend 90 percent indoors, it is not hard to conclude that a sedentary lifestyle is the biggest risk. Even though they exercise on a regular basis, it could not help much. Studies have shown that people who take mini breaks to stretch and change their position, at least for five minutes several times a day, are in better condition than people who lean only on exercise. To find out more about the benefits of outdoor activities, the article “Why Getting Outside Is So Good for You” gives us the following explanation.

Benefits of Outdoor Activities

It seems that just being out in nature does your body, mind and soul some good. According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the closer you live to nature, the healthier you’re likely to be. The study took an objective look at 345,143 Dutch people’s medical records, assessing health status for 24 conditions, including cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological diseases. The records were then correlated with how much green space was located within 1 kilometer and 3 kilometers of a person’s postal code. And what did researchers find? People who lived within 1 kilometer of a park or a wooded area experienced less anxiety and depression than those who lived farther away from green space.

Additionally, people living in urban environments had a higher prevalence of 15 of the 24 conditions, with the relationship strongest for anxiety disorder and depression. It’s interesting to note that the green space’s health benefits were only found when they were within a kilometer (not 3 kilometers away), except for anxiety disorders, gastrointestinal digestive disorders and other medically unexplained physical symptoms, according to the research.

People who suffer from insomnia can also experience the benefits of outdoor activities on their health. Experts suggest that exposing ourselves to daily light affects positively our circadian rhythm, which is responsible for our sleeping patterns. They also suggest walking as the most natural and beneficial to our overall health. People who walk frequently sleep better, feel better and have a better memory. Moreover, people who walk in nature or through the forest can benefit the most. Studies reveal that walking through nature have similar benefits as meditation.

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