Between shifting curfews and lockdowns, many of us find ourselves being stuck indoors and at home for longer periods at a time than we may previously have been used to. Many South Africans have since discovered a newfound love for something we once took for granted – the simple pleasure of being out and about in nature.
Studies have shown that your state of mental health improves drastically by being in nature and surrounded by greenery as it lowers cortisol stress levels and boosts the release of serotonin. These benefits aren’t just limited to adults, kids have been found to benefit from having outdoor time that helps boost their energy levels and reset their focus.
Here are four reasons you and your family or loved ones should consider making time to step out for a day or weekend break in the great outdoors:
YOUR FOCUS AND MEMORY IMPROVES
When you step out into nature, your mind has the time to reset and refresh from the clutter and busy energy of the home space or workspace.
YOU BOOST YOUR MENTAL, EMOTIONAL, AND PHYSICAL WELLNESS
Being surrounded by nature or even just visuals of nature have been found to significantly lower stress levels in individuals and reduce their levels of anger and fear while increasing pleasant and positive emotions. Not only does this improve your mental and emotional wellbeing, but these good hormones have a positive effect on your physical wellbeing too. The reduction of cortisol stress levels and feelings of anxiety also allows your body and organs to breathe by soothing your blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle tension.
YOUR SKIN SOAKS UP SOME VITAL VITAMIN D AND YOU IMPROVE YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Spending time outdoors and in the golden light of the sun (with sunscreen on hand of course) helps boost your body's vitamin D production. This vitamin has been found to strengthen your bones and aid in the prevention of serious health risks like cancer, osteoporosis, and heart attacks. So, not only does a day out keep you feeling better, but it could also be beneficial to your physical health wellness in the long run.
Beyond a boost in vitamin D, getting out and taking on new adventures in nature can have a positive effect on your overall immune system as well. In fact, in a study done by a Japanese immunologist, Qing Li, it was found that after several hours out in nature over two days, a group of participant's white blood cell count had increased by 40%. It was further found that their white blood cell count remained 15% higher than before a month after the experiment. These little blood cells are what help us fight against infection and diseases with stronger odds.
IT HELPS YOU STAY ACTIVE
Beyond the internal physical health benefits, getting out and taking that stroll or hike with your family, friends, or loved one helps keep tired work-from-home limbs stretched, active and soothes any muscle fatigue or joint tension from being desk-bound.
These are just some of the ways in which getting out in nature can help you stay your best and healthiest selves. But the benefits don’t end here. Getting out of the home and into a new setting can even strengthen your relationship ties and help heal and relieve any tension by giving you all the breathing space and refresher you need.
Land Rover wants to help you and your loved ones discover more and reap the benefits of their latest Discovery SUV. This sleek new seven-seater comes decked out with up to five ISOFIX car seat attachment points, a variety of driving and parking assistance features, and up to eight driver and passenger airbags to get you and your loved ones to your destination safely. Pack all your favourite downtime essentials and hit the open road.
What are you waiting for? Close the laptop and take that much-needed time for you and your partner, kids, or friends, and let the benefits roll in.