- Looking to reduce risk of cancer, autoimmune disease and blood pressure? Getting outside in nature can reduce the inflammation that can contribute to these illnesses.
- Want to score higher on tests and improve memory and focus? Take a walk. Being outside in the woods rather than an urban environment can improve short-term memory by up to 20% for some individuals and has even been shown to increase focus in some individuals with ADHD.
- Looking to destress? Being outside in wooded areas can reduce both your resting heartrate and cortisol levels, both of which are markers of stress.
- The holidays as well as the colder, darker days can certainly be a trigger for both anxiety and depression. For a little relief, get outside, especially to exercise, which can exaggerate the improvement for both issues. Even just getting outside can help make us happier.
- As winter approaches (ok, fine-it’s here), we often see an increase in the incidence of illnesses and colds. Some new data suggests that forest environments can improve immune function, which in turn may decrease severity and frequency of viral illness.
- Trouble falling asleep? Camping outside (maybe not in the winter unless you’re really brave or know a really good cuddler) can help reset your internal clock to improve your sleep pattern.
- Trying to lose a few pounds? Those who exercise outside are more likely to stick to their routine and often see improved weight loss results compared to those who exercise indoors. Also, those who exercise in the cold vs warm weather are more likely to burn more fat in comparison to breaking down muscle.
- Lastly, it’s a good reason to make friends with someone who has a sauna or hot tub. Many people find both of these activities relaxing, and some see improved muscle soreness or stiffness. If you’re going to exercise hard in winter, why not relax hard, too?