AUTHOR Caroline Eaton
Our schedules keep us running from meeting to meeting during the day, and dinner parties at night. With technology we are constantly plugged in, with our eyes on a screen in some form or another. This is what prompted our #selfie4nature contest we are currently running, and why we want to see everyone in our community outside, exploring nature and appreciating the benefits that the great outdoors offers.
Why is nature crucial for your health?
Clears your mind
Being outside engages all of your senses. In nature, you are outside breathing fresh air, seeing beautiful landscapes, listening to the birds around you, walking barefoot and feeling the sand or grass between your toes. Your brain is fully stimulated and you are able to refocus your energy and better put into perspective stressors you are dealing with.
Unplugs you from technology
Nature gives you a chance to rejuvenate. Instead of checking your email every hour from your iPhone, watching the most recent season of Game of Thrones, or shopping online for one more thing you most likely don’t need, nature gets you away from technology. It makes you shut down your computer, leave your work at home and be in awe at the beauty we are surrounded by.
Improves your healthy through exercise
Even our exercise has been taken over by gyms and treadmills. Obesity has been on the rise for years in America and this is believed to be in a direct response to the time spent on technology. If you make the goal to get outside more, you will be up moving, walking, and exploring instead of sitting inside.
A 2011 study found that outdoor exercise was associated with greater decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression when compared to indoor activity. And a 2010 study found that even just five minutes of exercise in a green space can improve mood and self-esteem, the BBC reported. – Huffington Post
Increases your vitamin D intake
Spending time outdoors will raise your body’s levels of Vitamin D, helping ensure your muscles, heart, lungs and brain are working together to best fight infection. Getting enough vitamin D doesn’t mainly depend on the type of foods you eat like other important vitamins, it depends on getting outside and exposing your skin to sunlight on a regular basis.
A lack of sun exposure or during winter months when sun exposure is at it’s lowest you can suffer from vitamin D deficiency which can cause SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD is known to make you feel lethargic and unfocussed. We encourage you to overcome SAD by making a point to get outside where you live and take a vacation to make sure you are soaking up the vitamin D.
Getting outside in nature has been used as therapy from stress, faster physical recovery from sickness and has proven long-term improvements on people’s health and wellness.
When our guests board our cruise they leave their work problems, iPads, iPhones and computers at home. After a week of exploring new destinations in search of unique wildlife, watching beautiful sunsets and jumping in to snorkel alongside sea lions, they return home happier, with a clearer head and a better appreciation for the importance of the benefits of enjoying nature.
Here is a great infographic from CountryCottage.com via HuffingtonPost that shows the decrease in time we are spending outside and how it is affecting our health.