It Helps You Get The Vitamin D
It’s important for your bones, blood cells, and immune system. It also helps your body absorb more of certain minerals, like calcium and phosphorus. Your body needs sunlight to make it, but you don’t need much. In the summer, just getting sun for 5 to 15 minutes, 2 or 3 times a week, should do it. In the winter, you might need a bit more.
It Lessens Anxiety
Even a simple plant in the room, or pictures of nature, can make you feel less anxious, angry, and stressed. But it’s better if you get out of that room and go out. Exercise is good for anxiety too. But it’s even better if you do it outside, compared to inside a gym. Sunlight helps keep your serotonin levels up. This helps raise your energy and keeps your mood calm, positive, and focused.
When you get outside your house, it’s not only Mother Nature you see. You also connect more with the people and places in your community. Human contact and a sense of community are important to your mental health. Plan a walking route to a friend’s house, and then to the park to do some exercise. Finish up at the local coffee shop. You might be surprised how good it makes you feel.
It Helps You Feel Better About Yourself
As little as 5 minutes of outdoor activity can help improve your self-esteem. This is especially true if you’re near water or green space. And it’s not high-intensity exercise that does it best. More relaxed activity like a walk, bike ride, or work in the garden seems to work even better.
It Improves Your Focus
It makes sense, if only for the bit of exercise you get when you do something outside. But studies show that it’s not just the activity, it’s the “greenness” of the outdoor space. In one study, kids with ADHD were able to concentrate better on a task after a walk in the park than they were after a walk through an urban area.
It Gives You Better Immunity
Better vitamin D production because of more sunlight is already good for your immune system. But the outdoors seems to help in other ways. Many plants put substances, including organic compounds called phytoncides, into the air that seem to boost immune function. Sunlight also seems to energize special cells in your immune system called T cells that help fight infection.
It Helps You Keep A Healthy Weight
Outdoor time will help you be more active and sleep better. Both these things help you burn calories. But getting outside in the morning in particular may help you keep the fat off. That’s partly because the light helps balance your sleep and energy use. But there may other reasons as well. You need 20-30 minutes between 8 a.m. and noon to make a difference, but the earlier you get it, the better it works.