Why you should get outdoors this fall
October 04, 2018
Walking down a tree lined street is the equivalent to feeling seven years younger, says the journal Nature. Being outdoors is relaxing and rejuvenating but it’s also healthy. During the fall season, the cool and crisp air along with the vibrant colours offer a sense of physical well-being and can boost energy levels.
A forest bath has many benefits
Research has found that forest environments can strengthen the immune system. Many people enjoy a forest bath, called “Shinrinyoku” in Japanese, which is a visit to a forest for relaxation and recreation. While inhaling the fresh air, you are also breathing in phytoncides which are antimicrobial compounds derived from trees.1 These volatile compounds can decrease anxiety, depression and anger.
Good for your eyes
Recent studies have shown that time spent outdoors lowers the chances of developing nearsightedness (myopia). Even an hour of outdoor time per week can decrease the risk of myopia by 14%.2 With so much screen time between TV, tablets and cell phones, our eyes are overstimulated. Being outdoors allows your eyes to widen their focus from the ground in front of you to objects in the distance.
Increase your energy
Low energy today? Instead of reaching for that second cup of coffee, try taking a quick walk outside. A recent study found that spending time in fresh air, especially when surrounded by nature, noticeably increased the energy in 90% of participants.3 Just 20 minutes of outdoor activity is equivalent to one cup of coffee!
A bonus of spending time outside is that it often comes paired with some kind of physical activity. Whether it be jogging, biking, walking, rollerblading, playing with your grandkids or hiking a trail, the important thing is that you’re moving and staying healthy!
- Science News for Students
- Huffington Post