Improve your mental health through being outdoors

Improve your mental health through being outdoors

By Anita Rosebury

| Feb 17 , 2020

We all know that being outdoors can improve our physical health, but the fact that it can also improve our mental health is now becoming more widely accepted by health professionals.  There are more and more science-backed reasons coming to light which health researchers and psychologists are using to show exactly why we should all go outside and enjoy the natural world more. 

Here at booicore, we love the great outdoors (especially biking through it) and even though we live near a big city there are lots of ways we can get our nature fix. Sometimes just going to the local park is enough and sometimes we grab our surfboards and booicore changing towel and head to the seaside.

Here are some of the most important reasons you (and your family) should get outdoors more:

#1 It can improve your short-term memory

There are many studies out there which show that walking in a natural environment can have a memory-boosting effect, something which doesn’t happen when you are walking in an urban environment. For example, a study entitled ‘Interacting with Nature Improves Cognition and Affect for Individual with Depression’ published in J Affect Disord found that walking in nature is beneficial for individuals with major depressive disorder.

#2 It can have a de-stressing effect on you

Being around nature has a de-stressing effect on our bodies. One study showed that participants who spent time in a forest had lower heart rate and level of cortisol than those who spent time in the city.  It has also been shown that people who work in offices with a view of nature have higher job satisfaction and lower stress than those who don’t.

#3 It can help reduce mental fatigue

We’ve all had those days when your brain just feels tired and like it is not at its best. Various studies have shown that you can improve your mental energy by looking at nature - and you don’t even have to go outdoors for this one, you can just look at a picture.

#4 It can help to ease anxiety

Being outdoors can help to ease mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, especially when it is combined with some sort of exercise - such as mountain biking or walking.  Being around environments which are green helps to improve both mood and self-esteem - with the presence of water making these effects even stronger. So now, there is no excuse to not grab your hooded poncho and go swimming or surfing!

#5 It can improve your ability to focus

As you can see, being outdoors is restorative in many ways - even when it comes to your ability to focus. One study showed that participants who had taken a walk in nature scored better on a proofreading task than those who had relaxed or walked through the city. 

So, there you have it. Five reasons why you should spend more time outdoors this year. We’d love to see you enjoying nature, so why not share your #booicoremoments with us on social media?