Science Tells Us Getting Outside Makes You Healthier

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Science Tells Us Getting Outside Makes You Healthier

It should be obvious, but the great outdoors can actually make you healthier.

Escape into the woods, climb those hills and hike through wooded trails or your neighbourhood park to help stimulate your body and your brain.

Don’t just take my word for it! Here’s is the science to back it up:

  • A 2008 study from the Journal of Aging and Health revealed that people who went outside everyday had fewer health-related problems and slept better. The results were even better if those outdoor activities are done in a group.
  • Just looking at something green makes your exercise easier!  A study looking at cyclists peddling in front of a grey, red and green screen showed the green screen athletes performed better and with less exertion. No one really knows why, but being outdoors or the thought of being outdoors, makes exercise feel easier.
  • Climb a mountain! It’s understood that spending time at higher altitudes could help shed extra pounds by speeding up the metabolism anddecreasing hunger cravings.
  • Nature helps increase brain function.  Multiple studies have shown that patients with conditions like ADHD have fewer symptoms when they play outdoors.  The great outdoors may also promote creativity and innovation.
  • Skip the caffeine. A 20-minute walk outside can wake you up as much a cup of java.
  • Clinical studies show that looking at nature reduces stress.  Walking in nature has been shown to lower stress levels in addition to heart rate.  The smells of nature — pine trees in particular — have been shown to lower depression and anxiety.
  • Wear sunscreen! As a dermatologist, this one is non-negotiable in my books. The sun has proven to be the single most significant cause of skin aging and its powerful rays a major contributor to skin cancer, so be safe when you head outdoors!

 

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