How many hats do you wear? In this day and age, it is likely that you wear many, that your mind is always going several directions at once and that the daily pressures you face tend to heap upon each other week after week. We live in a society where the self-help industry is a $10 billion dollar a year industry and where self-care is always a trending topic. In decades past there was not less to do but there were certainly fewer hats. Many households having only one car meant that women were home, ingrained in the community of neighborhood, and less involved in the day to day chauffeuring of children and the juggle of work/home commitments.
While we know we are not headed back to the days of housewives it is also clear that we must occasionally have a reprieve from filling all these roles. We need quiet for our souls and for our minds. We need to reset. We need a break from the endless needs and shoulds. Easily and freely, nature offers respite to women. A powerful force, nature is waiting daily to help you re-center and reconnect to yourself and to your surroundings. We talk often about the power of nature and how transformative it is for child development but nature is life-giving at any age and stage.
Here are 50 solid reasons why it’s still important to make time to be outside as an adult, knowing full well that there are many more reasons than this list of 50. Every moment we spend outdoors contributes to an abounding array of factors that enhance our mental, emotional, physical, and relational health! So take off your hats for a while and plunge your feet in the sand, your body in a hammock, or your toes in the grass. It’s worth your time to get outside.
Time in Nature is Good for Your Physical Health
- Going for a walk can boost your natural immunity.
- When you exercise outside, your body will breathe more deeply, allowing more oxygen to get to your muscles and to your brain.
- The sun’s rays give you beneficial vitamin D.
- You are likely to ingest or breath in Mycobacterium vaccae (a natural soil bacterium) when you spend time in nature which may help decrease anxiety.
- When you walk barefoot outside, free electrons are transferred from the earth into your body. This grounding effect is one of the most potent antioxidants.
- Fresh air is good for digestion.
- Sunshine helps increase calcium absorption.
- Time outside gets you moving and any movement is a positive contributor to overall health.
- Fresh air gives you a break from all the circulating germs inside.
- Vitamin D from the sun contributes to bone strength.
- Dirt is good for the skin.
- Walking barefoot outside helps support adrenal health.
- Viruses and bacteria thrive in air-tight spaces. Heading outside will get you away from enclosed spaces where germs tend to be the highest.
- Vitamin D from the sun helps lower overall cancer risk.
- Walking barefoot outside improves sleep.
- When we breathe fresh air we breathe in phytoncides, airborne chemicals that plants give off to protect themselves from insects. Phytoncides have antibacterial and antifungal qualities which help plants fight disease.
- Walking barefoot outside helps protect your body from EMFs.
- Sunshine improves the function of your liver and helps it better break down toxins and eliminate wastes.
- Getting fresh air will help your body fight bronchitis.
- Vitamin D from the sun helps to protect against heart attacks.
- Fresh air will help the airways of your lungs dilate more fully.
- Exposure to sunlight will make trace minerals more accessible to your body.
- Fresh air cleans your lungs.
- Sunshine leads to a healthy, glowing complexion because it can help improve skin conditions like acne and psoriasis.
- Exposure to natural light and nature views can help speed along recovery.
- Increased exposure to ultraviolet light could be the key to improved vision.
- Walking barefoot outside lessens menstrual and female hormone symptoms.
- Reintroducing some of the organisms from the mud and water of our natural world would help avoid an overreaction of an otherwise healthy immune response that results in such chronic diseases as Type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis and a host of allergic disorders.
- Walking barefoot outside can reduce or eliminate snoring.
- Nature walks can increase longevity.
- Sunshine is a natural antiseptic. It can kill molds, yeasts, bacteria, fungi, and viruses – even ones that are living on the skin.
Time in Nature is Beneficial for Your Mental and Emotional Health
- Using the Profile of Mood States test, researchers found that time amidst nature significantly decreased the scores for anxiety, depression, anger, confusion and fatigue.
- Looking at green growing things can put you in a better mood.
- A 2008 study at the University of Michigan found that memory performance and attention spans improved by 20 percent after subjects spent an hour in nature.
- Being in nature will refresh you.***
- Fresh air makes you happier because your serotonin levels are affected by the amount of oxygen you inhale.
- Being in nature gives you an overriding feeling of peace.
- People are likely to ingest or breath in Mycobacterium vaccae (a natural soil bacterium) when they spend time in nature which may help to improve the ability to learn new tasks.
- Walking barefoot outside promotes calmness by reducing stress hormones.
- You can focus better after you’ve spent time in nature because you’ve given your brain a break.
- There is typically more light outside than there is inside and light helps to elevate your mood.
- Norwegian researchers discovered that subjects with moderate-severe depression who participated in a horticultural program experienced reduced symptoms after 12 weeks.
- The more you are outside, the more energized you will feel and the more you will move your body.
- Walking barefoot outside normalizes your biological rhythms including your circadian rhythm.
- People who live within 1 km of a park or a wooded area experience less anxiety and depression than those who live farther away from green space.
- When you engage with nature you will actively use your brain.
- Negative ions—particles that are plentiful near waterfalls, breaking waves, and river rapids—can act as natural antidepressants, according to Columbia University researchers.
- Time spent in nature makes you nicer and more caring.
Time in Nature is a Great Way to Strengthen Relationships
- Outdoor play and nature experiences are a great way to bond as a family.
- Nature experiences can greatly strengthen friendships.