There’s a reason it’s called “the great outdoors.” Spending time in nature offers major advantages for both your body and mind. This spring, make an effort to spend a little more time outside and you may notice some of these benefits.
- Happier mood. People who took a 90-minute walk in nature had significantly less activity in a part of their brain that’s linked with depression, according to a study. Spending time outside is also associated with less stress and better well-being.
- Healthier weight. In a study, researchers found that people exposed to more daylight—especially in the morning—had a lower body mass index (BMI) than those who spent more time indoors. Daylight may impact levels of hormones that play a role in metabolism and weight control.
- Lower blood pressure. Spending just 30 minutes outside at least once a week is associated with a lower risk of developing high blood pressure.
- Better workouts. Taking your workouts outdoors can make them feel less intense, so you can push harder for longer. One study found that people walked faster outdoors than indoors and said it felt easier when they were outside.