It’s a well known fact that fresh air can make you feel better. I love the great outdoors and everything it has to offer, and I’m at my happiest when I’m out for a long walk in my wellies, with my wife. It gives me time to relax and the space to completely switch off. We talk about the most bizarre things when we are out walking and we connect in our own little world away from distractions at home or work. We’ve spent the weekend in the beautiful Lake District which got me thinking about the huge benefits of fresh air and how it can contribute to a healthy mind, body and soul.
5 benefits of fresh air:
1. Makes you happier. It actually does! It’s thought that oxygen can affect the levels of serotonin (the happy hormone) released in the body, contributing to feelings of happiness and relaxation. Basically, the more fresh air you get, the more oxygen you will breathe, which increases the amount of serotonin you inhale, making you happier.
2. Gives you more energy and focus. If you sit in a office all day looking at a computer screen you may find you get tired quickly or make mistakes easily. This might be to do with the lack of fresh air you’re getting. Try getting out at lunch time for a brisk 20 minute walk. This alone will boost your vitality levels. More oxygen results in greater brain functioning, improving your concentration skills and gives you more energy.
3. Strengthens your immune system. The immune system works best when challenged regularly. Getting outside in the fresh air can increase the number of white blood cells in your blood. These white blood cells are crucial to your immune system. Getting a good daily dose of fresh air can help these cells function properly to fight off those nasty bacterias and germs.
4. Aids digestion. If you sit at your desk to eat lunch whilst working, stop right now! You’re likely to be eating far more than you should be and probably making unhealthy food choices. You tend to eat faster at your desk which can cause indigestion and bloating. Your concentration is focused on your work rather than your lunch. Step away from the desk, eat your lunch in a more relaxed environment and go for a walk in the fresh air. This will aid digestion and make you feel so much better.
5. Cleans your lungs. The majority of us spend a huge amount of time in stuffy air conditioned offices where we breathe stale, recirculated air. Taking deep breaths of fresh air helps your airways dilate more fully, improving the cleansing action of your lungs. It also helps to get rid of any nasty toxins in your body.
Find time each day to get outdoors and take advantage of the many health benefits it brings you. Getting outside in the fresh air can be enjoyed alone or as a family. If you live in a city or somewhere known for outdoor air pollution, try to find a large open space or park, or even head into the countryside at the weekend and enjoy a long walk.
Whenever I come in from being outdoors I always feel refreshed, revived and ready to tackle anything.
What are you waiting for? Take the leap of faith. Make the Change. Not tomorrow. Not next week, but NOW.