Between work and home life, we can spend hours of our day never stepping out and into nature. There are some days, from our front door to our vehicle may be the only time we go outside all day. If you consider the many benefits to your mood and health nature provides, you may decide on taking that camping trip you’ve been thinking about or scheduling a specific amount of time to spend outdoors each day.
The sun naturally provides us with vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight on a regular basis for 10 - 30 minutes or more. Research has shown vitamin D deficiency may be linked to symptoms of depression. Vitamin D helps support the health of our immune system, nervous system and brain. It maintains the health of bones including teeth, supports lung and cardiovascular function and regulates insulin levels for diabetes management. To increase your sun exposure, spend time midday outdoors. Indirect sunlight from a window will not provide you with the vitamin D necessary for improved health. Now you know all those people sunbathing are doing it for much more than just an even tan!
After a long day at work, you may not be eager to exercise or even take a walk outdoors. Taking a walk outdoors after dinner will help aid digestion and boost metabolism. Your stomach will feel more settled and it may even help with weight management.
Getting away from our computers, smartphones, tablets and television by going outdoors before bedtime will help you to sleep better. Electronic devices emit a blue light that decreases melatonin production in the brain. Melatonin naturally begins to produce once the sun goes down. Melatonin helps regulate our circadian rhythm or natural sleep / wake cycle. Bearing witness to the sun setting will help ease us into a better night’s rest.
Spending time outdoors, such as going camping, visiting a local park or taking a hike in nature, will help elevate your mood, improve short-term memory, lower levels of cortisol, boost energy levels, decrease blood pressure and increase your ability to focus. When we are mentally, emotionally and physically healthy, we naturally feel better! All of these contribute to improving overall mood and health.
We can get caught up in our daily routines, some of which may not provide ample time outdoors. It’s for this reason, disconnecting from our regular routines by taking day trips to nature destinations, going on vacations in RV campers and planning overnight camping retreats has become an incredibly popular way to bring balance to our lives. Whether it is a week long excursion to the national park you’ve been dreaming of exploring or heading to the nearby hiking trail you’ve been eager to take a walk through, give yourself a chance to be in nature for your health and wellness!