10 scientific reasons to get outdoors and go for a hike, right now

Just because you don't need to go outside doesn't mean you shouldn't. Check out these amazing health and wellness benefits.

It’s easy to avoid the outdoors when all of your beloved technology is inside and you can use a mobile app to order anything you could possibly want. But just because you don’t need to go outside doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. There are a lot of scientifically proven health benefits to going outside. Let’s take a lot at 10 reasons why you should go outside more often.

Vitamin D

It’s not a secret that the sun provides your daily dose of Vitamin D. Although you can find the vitamin in some foods, humans get 90 percent of their necessary Vitamin D from the sun. It helps us absorb calcium, it prevents osteoporosis, and it reduces inflammation, among other things. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to brittle bones, tiredness, and depression.

Helps you exercise

A lot of people find it much easier to exercise outside than exercising on indoor equipment. There’s something about using an elliptical or running a treadmill that seems boring. Furthermore, studies have shown that cyclists who pedaled in front of green video footage reported feeling less physical exertion and more positive moods, which means that the green scenic views of nature might add a boost to your exercise routine.

Boosts energy

It seems like the world runs on coffee, but there’s a reason why others decide to take a morning jog instead. One study suggests that spending 20 minutes of exercise gives your brain an energy boost comparable to a cup of coffee. And being healthy will make you feel less tired overall.

Lessens anxiety

Unless the serene outdoors somehow makes you anxious, going outside can actually help your anxiety. Even having a small plant in your room can make you feel more at-ease, but that’s amplified just by going outside. Additionally, sunlight helps keep your serotonin levels up. Serotonin will raise your energy and keep your mood calm, positive, and focused.

Good for your vision

It turns out that sitting in front of a television or staring at a tablet all day isn’t good for a child’s vision. A scientific study showed that children who spend more time playing outdoors are less likely to develop nearsightedness. As Science Daily reported:

A study conducted in Taiwan, which is the first to use an educational policy as a public vision health intervention, finds that when children are required to spend recess time outdoors, their risk of nearsightedness is reduced. A separate study in Danish children is the first to show a direct correlation between seasonal fluctuations in daylight, eye growth and the rate of nearsightedness progression.

Helps you sleep

If you spend all your time indoors, you’ll be less exposed to sunlight, which will disrupt your body’s ability to set a normal sleep cycle. In other words, your body needs a certain amount of sunlight to set your internal clock. In particular, being exposed to early morning sunlight has been proven to help people sleep.

Boosts self-esteem

Doing as little as 5 minutes of outdoor activities have been proven to improve self-esteem, especially if you’re near water or green space. This makes sense when you consider that being outside also boosts your energy and makes it easier to exercise. But even if you’re not exercising, you’ll still get a self-esteem boost by doing some gardening or going for a small walk.

Enhances immune system

When you’re cooped up in your highly-sanitized office and home, you’re not doing your healthy any favors. Getting more Vitamin D is good for your immune system — low levels of Vitamin D have been associated with frequent infections. Exposure to the diverse variety of bacteria outside will also give your immune system a boost.

Helps creativity

There’s no better source of artistic inspiration than the great outdoors. If you have a problem that you can’t solve or if you’re facing writer’s block when you’re writing an important essay, try taking a walk. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can boost your creative problem-solving abilities.

Better academic scores

Are you failing your classes? Maybe you’d do better if you went outside more. While going outside won’t magically turn you into Albert Einstein, all of the other benefits of going outdoors will help you become a more focused and relaxed person, which will translate into better academic scores. A study showed that children who engage in moderate to vigorous activity had better reading fluency, reading comprehension and arithmetic skills.