Better mind with outdoor time

Time in nature improves health, wellness


With the sun up longer, the Ultraviolet (UV) rays higher and the temperature warmer, now is the perfect time to consider spending more time outdoors. Some of the obvious benefits of spending time outside include stimulating Vitamin D in the skin and increasing physical activity levels. The less obvious benefits regard how nature can support better mental health. 

To begin, Vitamin D can be obtained when spending time in the sun. The vitamin is not only important because it helps the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus, but it also can reduce cancer cell growth, according to Harvard. Vitamin D is found in few foods, so spending more time in the sun is the cheapest way to stimulate it. While getting vitamin D through being outdoors works, it is important to protect your skin with sunscreen while outside in order to decrease the risk of skin cancer. Besides not being outside, someone could be not getting enough Vitamin B because they may have darker skin and pigment melanin acts as a shade to the sun, or there simply is not enough sunlight in their area. In these cases, it is important to take a vitamin supplement. 

Next, spending time outdoors can allow for an increase in physical activities. Whether going on a run, playing basketball or walking a dog, there are multiple opportunities to exercise outside. Of course, exercise itself can boost one’s mood and help people achieve personal goals, but outdoor exercise can make one feel more lively and allow them to push themselves even further. Not to mention exercise in nature can feel more approachable than walking into a gym; it can also be more enjoyable and relaxing. One does not need a membership to gain fitness skills outside. Also, activities such as tennis, hiking or volleyball can help people build communities, and their competitive nature allows for the exercise to feel more like a game.

Lastly, time in nature can improve one’s mental health. Sitting in nature can bring a sense of tranquility and peace. It gives one time to reflect and relax. Watching a bee pollinate a flower or listening to the bird chirp can take a person away from the stress of their lives and back to the simplicity of the natural world. It is essential for people to take moments to reject technology and enjoy what is right in front of them. 

Getting outside can be difficult with a busy schedule, but making it a priority can have many benefits. Laying out in the sun to relax is a simple way to spend time outdoors. Exercising outside can be made easy when it involves doing something that one finds enjoyable. Playing a pickup basketball game in a park or going for a bike ride are exercises that don’t feel like punishment. Making it a point each day to spend time outside with no technology can decrease stress.  Adding this to one’s daily habits can bring them back to reality and not worry so much about superficial things. 

There is so much to take away from nature, so go outside and enjoy the great weather.