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5 Reasons Being Outside is Good For You

By David Gelfand

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Jun 11, 2014 11:50:00 AM

This past weekend I awoke with a foggy mind, dazed thoughts, and an odd soreness in my back – outside_1something that wasn’t there the night before. For a moment, I attributed the symptoms to an allergy, perhaps, as the seasons seem to be shifting. Then I remembered, I have no allergies…I was at a loss.

I stumbled out of bed, washed my face, brushed my teeth, and marched downstairs. In what likely seemed like a delusional stupor, I entered the kitchen, faced the fridge and began to stare. I wasn’t necessarily hungry, nor thirsty. But it seemed a natural place to begin.

Something wasn’t right. I needed a boost. I needed to be awakened and magnified internally. So I decided to step outside. The sun was shining, the yard freshly groomed, butterflies flickering not more than a foot above ground. I slipped off my sandals and began down the porch before finally making contact with the grass. It was in that moment that something changed dramatically – my daze disappeared, fogginess diminished, and soreness subsided. I was overwhelmed by a soothing and awakening sensation.

Our exposure to natural phenomena is severely limited by the structures we’re confined to on a daily basis – work, sleep, exercise, etc. are all done inside it seems. This isolation and insulation that I experience, like many of you, was what caused by foggy mindset last weekend. We often forget just how powerful, healing, and even motivational a step outside can be. The breath of the fresh air, the touch of the moist earth, and the sight of natural phenomena happening right in front of us.

Spring-Flowers

Don’t hesitate for a second to step outside this summer. Every opportunity you get – take it and jump with joy! Here are five amazing reasons to get outside this summer to improve your body AND mind.

1)      Natural Stress Reducer – yes, that’s right. Researchers studying mental health and stress suggest that spending time outdoors can truly improve one’s stress level. Muscle tension and heart rate, for example, decrease faster in natural environments than in an urban setting.

2)      Outdoor Exercise – let’s be honest; it’s tough sometimes to motivate yourself to drive to the gym and run on an indoor treadmill. Well, summer’s different. Take your run to the beach. Bring yoga to the park. Do your core exercises in the backyard. The possibilities are endless!

3)      Improve Memory and Circulation – a recent study seems to suggest that walks in nature can help improve cognition, mood, and memory.

4)      Plants Improve Concentration – this turns out to be true both indoors and outdoors. Surrounding yourself with plants and greenery seems to improve productivity and concentration. So don’t hesitate to bring those plants in to work!

going-barefoot-benefits

5)      Earthing – also known as “grounding,” this wellness trend is all about going barefoot. When you walk barefoot or wear earthing shoes, your body neutralizes harmful free radicals and absorbs antioxidant-like electrons.

Getting outdoors should be a part of your daily regimen this season. Make it a point to spend some time outside and, when you’re out there, take note of how you feel. Bring that feeling with you indoors and don’t lose sight of the connection it gives you.

Resources:

http://www.iufro.org/media/iwc2010-news-stories/jul10-healing-effects/

http://www.jad-journal.com/article/S0165-0327(12)00200-5/abstract

http://ellisonchair.tamu.edu/health-and-well-being-benefits-of-plants/#.U43u_PldVKd

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Topics: Earthing and Grounding

 

 

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