health-benefits-of-the-outdoorsGo outside and play! Being outdoors can cure what ails you.

Practically every day, from winter to summer, you’d get home from school, throw your books on the bed, change into your play clothes and head outdoors until your mom called you home for dinner. But unfortunately, growing up for many of us has meant bringing much of our lives indoors, glued to a television, crouched in front of a computer and simply living under artificial lights.

It’s time you remembered the words of a very wise woman, who told you many decades ago, “Go outside and play!”

Health Benefits of the Outdoors

No doubt being outdoors, in the fresh air, surrounded by trees and grass, birds and squirrels makes you feel good, but a growing body of research also says that it’s good for your health. Being in nature has been proven to lower your stress level, reduce depression, speed up your healing time and minimize your need for pain medication. In fact, studies have shown that a patient with a hospital room overlooking a green space will recuperate faster than one without a view.

But there’s also the motivational factor: When you’re outside, you’re simply more likely to be physically active than if you’re inside. Whether you’re climbing a mountain or simply walking around the block, you’re building muscles and keeping your heart and lungs healthy and your bones strong. You won’t find much of that going on planted on your couch!

And the last, and perhaps the best, reason is the sun. That big ball of fire in the sky is an instant mood elevator. Why do you think the word “sunny” has come to mean happy and chipper? Exposure to the sun also helps your body produce vitamin D, which strengthens your bones, may lower your risk for cancer and can even bolster your cognitive functions, among many other important health benefits. But everything in moderation! (Of course, too much exposure to the sun can also cause skin cancer.)

For goodness’ sake, turn off the TV and go get some fresh air!

Have anything to add?  Tell us why you love the outdoors in the comments below.