Does your bedroom or living room have a window? Most likely, it does. Few activities are as beneficial to health and well-being as going outside to spend time in nature. Studies have repeatedly shown that spending quality time in nature reduces symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD, improves cognitive function, and boosts mood. Being outdoors releases natural chemicals into the body that create feelings of peace and well-being, leveling out hormones so people can sleep better. Below are five reasons why fresh air is essential to our health.
1. Fresh Air Boosts Your Mental Health
Studies have shown that fresh air can rejuvenate the mind and improve alertness. Breathing fresh air increases the amount of oxygen available to your brain and body, which boosts a sense of mental clarity. Simply walking outside for a minute or two can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, especially in high-traffic places like cities and airports. Taking a break from the polluted areas and heading for vacations such as paddleboard rental in Santa Barbara will help boost your mental well-being.
People who spend time outside in natural environments have higher cognitive functioning than those who don’t. Students who spend time on a green campus have better concentration than those who study indoors.
2. Fresh Air Strengthens Your Immune System
Fresh air strengthens your immune system. People who take walks in nature have a more excellent respiratory function, which leads to better immunity. You can also breathe in more oxygen and exhale more carbon dioxide, which stimulates your immune system and protects you against infections. Fresh air strengthens your immune system because it reduces your stress, prevents you from catching a cold, and strengthens your lungs. Enough time outside natural spaces can maintain children’s immune systems in urban areas.
3. Decreases Symptoms of Stress And Depression
Fresh air decreases symptoms of stress and depression because it reduces the effect of stress hormones and increases your mood. Students who take a walk outside have lower levels of stress hormones when compared with those who sit inside. People who stay in cold temperatures for a long time have higher cortisol levels in their bodies, which leads to feelings of depression. The fresh air free from pollution reduces the effects of pollution and even makes you feel better about yourself. Spending time in nature helps you release more endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that produce a feeling of happiness. People who spend time near plants have lower cortisol levels, the stress hormone, than those who don’t.
4. Improves Your Sleep
Fresh air improves your sleep as it helps you relax and boosts your mood. People who sleep in rooms with an open window have less activity in their brains during the night, and it leads to better sleep and a better mood the next day. The fresh air free from pollution feeds your brain with oxygen, reducing stress and making you feel more relaxed. Fresh air causes the body to secrete melatonin, a sleep hormone that helps you relax. A study found that women who spent time outside before bed had lighter and more restful sleep than those not exposed to fresh air at night.
5. Improves Your Career Performance
Spending time in nature improves your career performance by decreasing stress, depression, and exhaustion. A study found that when people were exposed to fresh air after lunch, they performed better than those who did not. A study also found that spending time outside in natural environments improved cognitive function because you’re more aware and alert while outside with fresh air. Another study demonstrated that a high-performance university had better students when students spent time outside studying in natural locations rather than in the library.
There are many benefits of fresh air and how it helps your well-being. Enjoying fresh air gives you a healthier mind and body and increases your productivity at work. Take advantage of this free time by sitting out in nature, walking around a park or field, or even spending the morning outside studying. Fresh air may be one of the best secrets to improving your mental health. It helps you sleep better, strengthens your immune system, and increases productivity.
If you want to get more fresh air, many organizations help people connect to nature who want to increase their mental health.
Written by: Hannah Boothe
About the writer: Hannah Boothe is a freelance writer native to Northern California who spends her free time developing herself. Hannah enjoys the outdoors, she goes hiking whenever the weather permits and enjoys practicing yoga. She carves out time to journal and read whenever she can. She loves adventure and connecting with those around her.