There's no denying that some of our favorite summer events—music festivals, barbecues, and picnics—take place in the great outdoors. But science tells us we shouldn't limit our time outside to just those occasions, according to a recent Business Insider article hat says soaking up sunlight and fresh air may be good for us in more ways than one. Read on to learn how time spent en plein air can make us a healthier version of ourselves:
- It gives you renewed mental energy. Think about a time when you felt like your brain was moving at a tortoise's pace. Studies have shown that this type of mental slump can be relieved by a trip outside. (Side note: Looking at pictures of nature worked, too).
- It helps lower your stress. Time spent outdoors actually decreases your levels of cortisol, a hormone that indicates stress. The next time you feel a panic attack coming on, go for a walk around the block.
- It gives you a creativity boost. One study exposed a group to nature for a few days, and those individuals scored 50% better on a problem-solving test. If you're in need of a little inspiration, spending time outside may be just what you need.
- It ramps up your immune system. Research shows that time spent outdoors tends to help you fight off mild illnesses like colds and flus—it's like nature's version of Emergen-C.
- It improves your mental health. Especially when coupled with exercise, time in the sun has helped many manage their depression and bad moods. Think of a trip outside the house as an instant pick-me-up.
How much time do you spend outdoors? Next time you're heading out for a walk, try lacing up this cool pair of sneakers.