The Benefits of Spending Time Outside

May 1, 2022 | Senior Health

Spending time outside can have considerable benefits when it comes to our health and wellness. In fact, many studies have shown the positive impact that outdoor environments can have on our physical and mental well-being.

At Astral at Auburn, we take pride in offering opportunities for our residents to enjoy relaxing, enriching outdoor activities at our beautiful community. We believe that being in the sunshine and the fresh air is good for the body, mind and soul, and we work hard to ensure residents can experience those benefits whenever possible.

Physical Benefits of Being Outside

Even spending a short amount of time outside each day can have lasting benefits on your body.

Fresh air: There is something invigorating about spending time outside in the open air. Breathing in the fresh air enlivens the body, giving you a break from staying inside all day. “Air pollution can cause a wide array of negative lung impacts, from asthma to coughing, chest pain, and shortness of breath. But outside in the fresh, clean mountain air away from indoor irritants and city pollution, you can help clear your lungs while enjoying the outdoors (”

We were meant to spend time in nature, and by simply taking a walk and breathing in the fresh air of the day, you will be doing your body a favor. 

Vitamin D: Exposure to natural sunlight improves mood and warms the body, and it also delivers a daily dose of vitamin D. Studies show that exposure to vitamin D through natural sunlight has several benefits as it’s essential in the absorption of calcium, helps regulate your immune system to fight diseases and can help with mood enhancement. 

Cardiovascular health: By spending time outside each day, you will improve your cardiovascular health. In addition, engaging in light exercise while outside will further these health benefits while improving brain health. The Alzheimer’s Association says physical activity “not only protects the heart but improves cognitive function.”

Mental and Emotional Benefits of Being Outside

Although the physical health benefits of being outside cannot be understated, it is important to remember the mental health benefits as well. Being outside can dramatically improve your mood, allow you to reset and relax, and give you an overall sense of happiness and tranquility.

Relieve stress: Whatever we are doing in life, we are bound to experience stress along the way. Whether you are an older adult or a caregiver, stress can become overwhelming, if not properly managed.

Spending time outside can effectively reduce stress. Establish a routine where you walk a trail in the morning or evening, sit by a favorite tree to rest or enjoy time in your garden. 

Improve sleep: Although this could easily fit within the physical benefits, we also believe that sleeplessness is a mental health issue that you must address. When you have trouble going to sleep or find yourself waking in the night, it can feel hopeless.

Spending time outside can help regulate your body’s natural rhythms. When you spend time outside consistently, you can improve the timing and quality of your sleep. Try to establish a routine where you spend more time outside and limit your access to screens throughout the day. That will make a significant difference. 

Start Your Outdoor Routine Today

At Astral at Auburn, we want residents and team members to experience the joy and beauty of the natural world. Being outside holds so many healing properties, but it is up to us to take the time needed to accept and receive those gifts.

Fortunately, you can begin living a more “outdoors” life today by making small changes to your daily routine. Start by planning to spend 15 minutes outside each day. If you are working, you can accomplish this during your work breaks. You may even be able to get some of your colleagues or co-workers to join you on a walk outside.

If you are retired, plan to start your day with a brisk walk in the morning. The fresh air and cool breeze will help you begin each new day with a sense of vigor and purpose. In addition, many older adults take up outdoor activities in their retirement years, including golf, tennis, pickleball, hiking and bird watching. These are all wonderful activities that will give you plenty of time outside.

Whatever you enjoy, make outside activities a part of your everyday routine. There are so many benefits that you can experience today simply by walking outside.

Please visit our website today for more senior living resources and explore our Auburn, Indiana, senior living community!

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