(This guest post is authored by Melissa Daruna of Get Outdoors Colorado)
At Get Outdoors Colorado our goal is help people live healthy, active outdoor lifestyles. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: being close to nature makes you healthier! And we all know healthier lifestyles help you live longer. So, how exactly does nature help us get to those extra years?
- The Sun, Stress and Sleep: A key part of the outdoors is the sun. Our bodies need the natural Vitamin D the sun provides. Vitamin D helps us stay happy and calm and even helps reduce stress. Spending time in nature as a stress reliever can help keep your body in good working order. Additionally, natural light helps a sleep better, which allows our bodies to recharge and stay healthier longer.
- Strengthens Your Immunity: Researchshows that time spent outdoors can increase white blood cells in your body that help fend off infections, viruses and even cancer. With a stronger immune system we can fight off illness quicker and easier and return to a healthier state.
- Keeps You Active: By going outside, you are more likely to stay physically active. Physical activity is key to a healthy, well functioning body. The good news is outdoor physical activity doesn’t have to be complicated. Doctors in Massachusetts are even starting to prescribe activity outdoors, like riding a bike or taking a walk, to help kids keep their weight under control.
- Biophilia Hypothesis: Bio-what, you say? The biophilia hypothesis and research suggests that our relationship with nature is fundamental to maintaining good health. The theory is that humans have an innate connection with other living things and nature. Exposure to plants and animals in a natural setting has a variety of health benefits, including those above, as well as fostering a critical connection to our environment. This connection helps us stay mentally and physically healthier longer.
Reconnect with nature by spending some time outside today and every day. Take a walk outdoors during lunch, ride a bike with your kids, start training to hike that 14er you’ve always wanted try. GetOutdoorsColorado.org has a wide variety of events and activities offered through partners across the state to help get you started. Find your next adventure and live a longer, healthier, outdoor lifestyle!