Outdoors that is!

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA)-93% of our time is spent indoors. This is really not optimal because s being outdoors is the easiest way to improve our overall health and wellbeing.

A compendium of research suggests strongly that being outdoors functions as a natural health tonic. It will enable you to improve your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Spending sufficient time outdoors is also linked to a lowered risk of premature death. It may also enable you to live a happier life. In my opinion, that aspect is what is probably at the center of the other benefits. Even a few 5 minute breaks out of doors can have huge, far reaching health benefits. Here's how to reap the benefits:

1. Being outdoors makes you happier. People report big increases in mood as well as decreases in anxiety and depression. No one knows why this is exactly but my theory is that by observing the wellbeing in nature, it floods into our personal experience as well.

2. Improves short term memory. Again, researchers don't know why but I will postulate that being in nature increases focus, and mindfulness or just being in the present moment.

3. Stress relief. Time spent outdoors affects the brain similarly as meditation does. Heart rate and blood pressure slow.

4. Lessened inflammation: One recent study showed that students asked to spend time in a forest had less markers of inflammation than those in the city.

5. Higher Energy Levels: According to University of Rochester research, 90% of participants achieved higher energy levels by participating in outdoor activity levels.

6. Heightened creativity: spending more time outdoors is linked to higher creativity, clarity and concentration.

7. Boosts vitamin D: Most everyone knows this but worth a reminder.

8. Improved immune systems: A recent study showed that adults who hiked twice a day for 4 days improved their white blood counts by 40%.

Simple ways to accomplish some time include doing some work outside if working at home, read on your porch or deck, starting a garden, walking outdoors, getting or walking your dog, eating meals outside, taking your kids to the park, and planning some outdoor activities each weekend. Current research recommends at least 2 hours per week to derive these benefits as a minimum. Let us know how you are working outdoor time into your lifestyle.

Thanks and Best Of Health!

Author's Bio: 

Dr Taryn DeCicco ND, LAc, LDN of Apple A Day Clinic in Arlington Heights, IL has been practicing Naturopathy, Nutrition, and Acupuncture, specializing in acne, skin, digestive disorders, and HPV for over 20 years!