The Health Benefits of the Great Outdoors
All too often in this day and age we spend our time cooped up indoors. Gone are the days when getting some fresh air are regular and routine parts of our day. Our time is taken up with work and family life and it is becoming more and more regular than our only trip outside is to take the trash out or to get to and from our vehicles.
Granted, life today is considerably faster paced and for women in particular who are more likely to be juggling home and work life there just doesn’t seem to be the time to get outdoors that there once was. The advances in technology too haven’t helped either with indoor activities more geared up to computing or technology of some sort and us using technology to check small things like the weather, when really we could just step outside!
What hasn’t changed though are the considerable health benefits of the outdoors and these should not be underestimated. Evidence and research has shown that ‘fresh air’ can help us to fight illness or reduce it in the first place as well as help to balance our emotions.
The feeling of being outdoors cannot be substituted by any indoor activity; neither can it be simulated so instead of trying to be domestic and office goddesses women everywhere should take note of the healing benefits of the outdoors both emotionally and physically.
Getting access to fresh air
Gaining access to open spaces isn’t always that straightforward but even those who live in a built up area should plan to visit somewhere within the great outdoors as often as possible, whether it be a trip out of town or a holiday to somewhere rural.
If where to travel is an issue one thing technology has helped us with is our access to almost everything at our fingertips. Using the internet can easily help to find a suitable location to travel to even if it is just a city park or a brisk walk around town.
Taking advantage of the outdoors
It is estimated that on average around 90% of our time is spent indoors, and as a result we are not benefitting from the natural sunlight or beauty of our surroundings. This all impacts on a social and mental state as being outdoors can give us a great feeling of sociability and give us greater opportunity to release positive emotions. In terms of added health benefits the outdoors and moreover the ability to partake in exercise or adventure activities outdoors can for women reduce breast cancer risk. The likelihood of breast cancer is linked to weight levels, in particular obesity. By getting involved in outdoor activities women are cutting their chances of getting breast cancer and other conditions linked to obesity. Dr Alan Maryon David who is a director for public health in the UK says: “If you are doing regular exercise, you are controlling your body weight. This means you are less likely to suffer from obesity, cutting your risk of developing breast cancer.”
Feel Good Factor
Undoubtedly getting outdoors and sharing a group activity with friends can really boost a woman’s feel good factor and self esteem. Setting time aside may be difficult but the benefits far outweigh the alternatives to being isolated indoors.
Whilst it may be much more commonplace to try to keep up with a fast paced lifestyle these days it doesn’t mean that you have to cut off completely and finding a balance between the two is much more appropriate for our health.
So next time you find that you are rushing around to try and be all things to all people or skipping a lunch break to work through just take a second to pause and think how much more productive and stimulated you would feel if you stepped outside or took the time to plan your next adventure break or activity for some valuable ‘me time’. Don’t think of it as indulging; think of it as investing for your family’s future.