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Why being outdoors is good for us

Here’s a look at what makes being outside so good for us.

There is much to explore out there. From lush forests to sweeping hills, nature has a lot to offer for those who are ready to put on their walking boots and leave their home behind. 

As well as getting to experience beautiful scenery first-hand, there are plenty of health benefits to enjoy when you bring together outdoor adventures and exercise. Here’s a look at what makes being outside so good for us. 

The benefits of being outdoors
There has been a lot of scientific research into the health benefits of being outdoors. Both adults and children alike have seen a positive impact on their mood when in nature, with access to green space linked to ‘improved mental wellbeing, overall health, cognitive development in children,’ according to a recent report by academic editor Paul B. Tchounwou. 

The findings of this report were echoed in an earlier study from 2019. The International Journal of Environmental Health Research revealed that just 20 minutes in a park, even if you don’t do any exercise, is enough to improve wellbeing. 

So, what happens when we do add exercise into the mix? The good-mood hormones triggered by a walk, jog, or workout are all there. From boosting endorphin levels to increasing mood-lifting serotonin levels, there are lots of benefits for the body from any form of exercise. However, exercising outside means you’re also getting some Vitamin D, which is good for your immune system, and access to green space, which can ease anxiety. 

Why we’re happier on vacation
When we take a vacation, we’re maximizing our time outside. We have places to explore and sites to see, so all those good things about being outdoors come at us in a happy rush. We can do away with stress, be someone else for a week or two, and use the opportunity of being somewhere new to build our mental resilience. These all come together to make us happier. 

In fact, according to a survey of 2,000 US residents by Exodus Travels, people who consider themselves to be very happy people are around 50% more likely to spend most of their time traveling outdoors. They can be found engaging in activities such as camping, cycling and snorkeling.

Get away 
With so many benefits of getting out in nature in an unfamiliar location, you might be inspired to book that trip away. If so, why not make it one that energizes you? A hiking trip, for example, can give you the chance to immerse yourself within nature, while other vacations filled with outdoor activities allow you to leave the bustle of the city behind. 

Bringing together your love of the outdoors with an activity like cycling or walking in a destination you’ve always wanted to visit can be the ultimate way to look after your physical and emotional wellbeing. 

Start planning your next outdoor getaway now and see the health benefits of being out in the world.