September 03, 2023 3 min read

Health Benefits of Spending Time Outdoors and the Outdoor Activities That Support Outdoor Lifestyles 

As our lives become more hectic and demanding, finding time to prioritize self-care can be a challenge. For many, spending time outdoors is a way to recharge and revitalize. Still, with the demands of work, family commitments, and household responsibilities, it can be challenging to make this a priority. Even when the weather is less than ideal, it's important to make an effort to spend time outdoors and break away from the routine of staying indoors.


However, recent years have brought some positive changes. After 2020, many Americans have discovered the benefits of spending time outside and have added an average of 22 minutes per week to their outdoor time. Despite the constant changes in our daily routines, it's possible to carve out even ten minutes each day to enjoy the great outdoors.


The benefits of spending time outside are numerous and can positively impact our physical health, mental well-being, and overall sense of happiness. Whether going for a walk, enjoying a picnic, or simply sitting and taking in your surroundings, your mind, body, and soul will thank you.


Here are just a few of the many benefits of being outside year-round:


Improved mental health: Research has shown that spending time in nature can significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as improve mood and overall well-being. 


Better cardiovascular health: Spending time outdoors can help reduce blood pressure, lower the risk of heart disease, and boost immune function. 


Increased physical activity: Whether it's hiking, swimming, or simply taking a walk, being outside encourages physical activity, which is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the risk of chronic diseases. 


Enhanced vitamin D absorption: Exposure to sunlight helps the body produce vitamin D, which is essential for bone health, hormone regulation, and immune system function. 


Reduced stress: Studies have shown that spending time in nature will reduce cortisol levels, a stress-related hormone. Being outdoors can improve sleep quality, digestion, and a more robust immune system.


Improved focus and cognitive function: The benefits of spending time in nature include an increase in attention span, improved memory, and better creativity due to spending time in nature. 


Boosted happiness and well-being: Simply being outside in a natural setting has increased happiness and improved overall life satisfaction. 


So we know many benefits come from being active outdoors, but what activities will support your outdoor lifestyle? Some of the most popular activities people enjoy include hiking, cycling, swimming, kayaking, rock climbing, and gardening. Below is a list that gives more detail about each of the activities:


Hiking is an excellent way to get a good workout while enjoying nature. It can also help reduce stress and anxiety while providing an opportunity to connect with nature. 


Cycling is another excellent option for getting exercise outdoors. It improves cardiovascular health, promotes weight loss, and can be a fun way to explore new places. 


Swimming is a low-impact activity that provides a full-body workout. It's excellent for improving cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and endurance. 


Kayaking is a fun way to explore the water and get a workout at the same time. It builds upper body strength, improves balance and coordination, and can provide a sense of adventure.


Rock climbing is a challenging outdoor activity that combines physical and mental strength. It builds upper body and core strength, improves flexibility and balance, and requires problem-solving skills. 


Gardening is a relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise. It promotes hand-eye coordination, strengthens muscles, and can be therapeutic for mental health. 


Ultimately, the best outdoor activity for you will depend on your interests, fitness level, and location. Whatever activity you choose, it's important to make the most of the opportunity to spend time in nature and reap its many health benefits.


So, no matter how busy your schedule may be, don't forget to prioritize time outside. Your well-being depends on it!

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