Being Outside is More Beneficial Than You Think!

Who doesn't love a beautiful sunny day in the park or walking on a beach with a pleasant breeze?  Imagine gently rocking in a hammock by a waterfall in the redwood forest looking up at the majestic trees. How about hanging out with friends drinking a margarita in your backyard that you just decked out with all the comforts of home. 

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If you are like most people, these relaxing images bring a smiling happiness to your life, but how beneficial is being outdoors really?

We all know that being outside can make us feel more relaxed and happy, but studies show that it can have many more benefits than we realize.  University in Michigan has shown that being in nature improves our memory, increases our attention span, and improves cognition.  This is great, who doesn't need a boost mentally?!?! 

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Further, a University in Japan has a word for the healing effects of the outdoors called Shinrin-Yoku, which means to bathe in nature (forest bathing).  Their studies show huge benefits on mental and physical health.  Only recently have humans learned to live in cities inside buildings.  We evolved in nature and now we know that being contained inside has many detrimental effects to our psychological health. We flourish best outdoors and to prove it they have many outdoor trails with equipment to measure blood pressure and heart rate.  What they have found is that the trails lower heart rate and blood pressure to more "normal" rates.  This could be one of the reasons for their extended average lifespan.

Feeling tired or sick all the time?  Can't seem to get going or being excited about your day?

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Stanford University has shown that being in nature reduces depression.  Sunlight provides our bodies with vitamin D which is linked to depression, our nervous, and immune systems. It can keep us strong and healthy in numerous ways.  Without it, you can feel lethargic and unmotivated.  Getting out and getting some healing sunlight might just be the answer.

In conclusion, being outdoors helps us to be more mindful and present.  It brings us back to the here and now and allows us to peacefully reflect on our lives.  It provides happiness, healthiness, longevity, and motivation.  Take any excuse to get into nature.  Create an outdoor space that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed.  Overall make it your own! 

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