There's no question many of us are drawn to natural scenery like beaches and mountains. The problem? Most of us are limiting those images to our computer backgrounds. Isn't it time we got a little mud on our tires and headed outside to explore for ourselves instead?
Often, we keep our extended periods of time outdoors to vacations and perhaps a rare weekend (if we have time after catching up on laundry and gorging on all of the Netflix we were too tired to devour during the work week). This is a shame, because beyond positively impacting our stress levels, nature time has many other biological benefits. Here are some convincing reasons to not stay under your roof.
1. Sunlight helps with the digestion of vital nutrients
When activated by UVB rays, cholesterol stored in the skin is converted into Vitamin D3. This sets off a chain reaction in the body that helps with the digestion of vital nutrients from your food.
2. Sunlight grows your bones
One skin-to-sunlight chemical reaction is the improved absorption of calcium. This leads to stronger bones and a reduced chance of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
3. Nature provides us with peace and perspective
There's a reason people often head to nature for meditation. Brain scans reveal that when in nature, our minds tend to tune into a more peaceful wavelength. This serenity offers us a chance to reconnect with both ourselves and our surroundings—and to establish perspective on life.
4. Sitting for too long isn't healthy, period
Evidence is piling up in support of avoiding an eight-hour desk routine for health purposes. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease are among the two most severe side effects of limited movement over a long a period of time. This can also result in widespread chronic symptoms, such as back pain and poor circulation.
5. You'll live longer
Studies show that people who get outdoors on a regular basis outlive those who don't, regardless of the level of physical exertion, or social or economic status. Being outside boosts physical, psychological and social well-being. Why? As one scientist put it: "Humans are evolved organisms and the environment is our habitat." In other words, this shit's primal.
Check out this video by Asap Science illustrating these awesome facts. Then dust off those hiking boots and get moving. Stat.