Natural medicine – the benefits of getting outside more often

woman in nature wellbeing wellness

Spring is getting so close you can almost touch it, bringing with it the chance to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and benefits of nature. What you may not realise, is just how powerful those benefits can be.

It’s estimated by various studies that we spend between 90 and 92% of each day indoors. It’s not always through choice, as 85% of those surveyed said that they would love to have more time outside in the open air, with 82% of adults finding happiness in nature.

The fact is, being outside does make us happier. Natural sunlight is known to increase the amount of serotonin our brains produce, regulate moods and providing a natural feeling of being uplifted.

It’s no surprise that 91% of adults feel that regularly heading to green and natural spaces is beneficial to their mental health and wellbeing. Still, we could always do with getting out more, as a survey of 14 countries found that UK citizens were the least connected with the natural world around them.

Spending as little as two or three hours a week in nature can make you at least 20% happier in yourself and satisfied with life than those who never make time to experience the great outdoors. Users of the One Wellbeing platform can set time spent walking and being outdoors as targets, opening themselves up to these life enhancements in a way that is easily tracked and measured, but any time outdoors is going to be good for you.

The plusses of making the effort to get outside to mental wellbeing are one thing, but did you know that being outside also has a  positive impact on a number of serious physical health conditions?

Take asthma, for example. Areas with more green space and gardens have been shown to have less asthma-related hospital admissions than more built up areas thanks to lower levels of air pollution. Not everyone can live in the most green areas, but getting out into the fresh air will certainly help those with respiratory conditions.

Likewise, heading outdoors is an excellent form of exercise, and walking in nature for even two and a half hours per week can be enough to fight obesity and prevent type 2 diabetes.Getting your shoes on and getting outside is about more than taking time away from the desk and all the screens we’ve filled our lives with. It’s about better mental health, better physical health, and taking the time to smell the roses. Isn’t it time you reconnected with nature?

 

 

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