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  • Writer's pictureDr. Hockstra

The Great Outdoors: 3 Health Benefits Of Spending Time In Nature

Happy spring everyone! Did you know that spending time in nature can significantly improve both your mental and physical health? Studies show that the great outdoors reduces overall stress, promotes relaxation, improves mental clarity, and even leads to better sleep. Nature has a calming effect that restores your mind, body, and spirit.

1. Stress Relief and Relaxation

Enjoying time in nature significantly reduces stress levels, helping to promote relaxation in your body. For starters, fresh air raises the oxygen levels in your brain, improving mental clarity and cognitive function. Simple natural elements like sunshine, increased space, and fresh air help your body to reduce stress. Nature triggers your parasympathetic nervous system, causing your body to naturally relax.

2. Increase in Movement

Time spent outdoors can be especially powerful when paired with exercise. Increased movement outdoors reduces blood pressure and muscle tension, further combating stress and promoting a healthier mood.

Exercise outdoors does not have to be extremely challenging for you to receive its health benefits. Quick walks or breathing exercises will still increase blood flow, benefitting mental clarity and helping to prevent many common diseases down the road. Common outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, or gardening all help to improve your mood and overall health.

3. Sleep Benefits

Sunlight exposure regulates your internal clock, or circadian rhythm, leading to better sleep. Often thrown off by the usage of screens or the indoors, spending time outdoors in the sun readjusts your body to a normal sleep schedule.

Take a break from work when you get a chance to spend some time in the great outdoors!

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