Ever since we were little, we’ve always been encouraged to go outside and do one thing: get some fresh air. Even during the summer months, people tend to forget the importance of spending time outside. In fact, according to Prevention magazine, the average American spends most of the season stuck in offices and living rooms rather than out breathing in the fresh air on their patios. Even children don’t get outside as often as they used to. Kids today spend seven hours more on academics and two hours less on sports and outdoor activities per week than they did 20 years ago. If you and your family need reasons to get outdoors, here are a few that will pull you away from the TV and toward your back patio.
Boosts your immune system
Even during summer, it’s easy to get a case of the sniffles. Help to fight them off with the power of fresh air. It helps your immune system to fight off disease more effectively due to healthier white blood cells. It also supplies your immune system with the oxygen it needs to kill and destroy bacteria, viruses and germs. Breathing in stale air will not supply your body with enough oxygen to keep your cells fueled and functioning properly.
Calms you down
If you’re feeling especially stressed or nervous, taking in a few breaths of fresh air may leave you feeling much more refreshed and relaxed than you were before. When you step foot outside, serotonin production increases. This hormone can significantly lighten your mood and promote a sense of well-being and joy. Much like exercising releases feel-good endorphins, breathing in the fresh air can have the same effect. Even something as stressful as a large life event can be affected by nature. According to a 2010 study from Wageningen University, those who were undergoing stressful life events found that the presence of green space was linked with better overall health and appeared to lessen the impact of the life event.
Whether you’re exercising outdoors or letting the fresh air into your home with a retractable screen, natural ventilation is healthier than breathing stale air from the indoors. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the indoor air in the United States is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Fresh air is also filled with negative ions, which have been linked to an improved sense of well-being.
Cleans your lungs
Breathing that fresh air in and out not only feels great, it’s benefiting your lungs. It helps the airways of your lungs to dilate more fully and improves the cleansing action of your lungs.
Gives you energy
If you’re finding that cups of coffee aren’t really doing the trick anymore to help you to stay alert during your day, you may want to get outside more often and breathe in the fresh air. Whether you’re out in a field or just sitting on your patio, that rush of fresh oxygen helps to naturally wake you up.
Improves heart health
Being outside and getting some air straight from the great outdoors helps to improve both blood pressure and heart rate due to the decrease in pollution, providing you with better overall heart health. Stale and dirty air forces the body to work harder to get the proper amount of oxygen it needs.
Boosts brain health
You’re breathing in more oxygen when you’re out in the fresh air. When your brain gets more oxygen, it’s going to be able to function more efficiently. It brings greater clarity and improved concentration.