Here's What Being Outside Can Do For Your Health

Spending time outdoors is one of the fastest ways to improve your health and happiness. A study of nearly 20,000 participants, published in June 2019 in Scientific Reports concludes that spending just 2 hours per week in nature benefits our health and well being. Those 120 minutes can consist of several outings each day, or one single day adventure.

These findings were consistent amongst both healthy respondents and those with long-term illness or disability. The study indicates that there is benefit to being outdoors no matter what you are doing; sitting on a bench enjoying a beautiful lake view, walking the beachfront, or hiking a mountain. We know exercise is good, we know exercise in nature is good, but this effect applies even if you spend time in nature for relaxation.

The benefits are enhanced based on the type of environment you embrace; exposure to water, mountains, fresh air and greenery, all things we are blessed with in Peachland.

Being outdoors decreases heart rate, blood pressure, stress cortisol and improves psychological well-being. There are numerous studies that indicate a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced emotions. This includes symptoms of anxiety, depression, and psychosomatic illnesses like irritability, insomnia, tension headaches, and indigestion. Nature exposure also boosts endorphin levels

and dopamine production, which promotes happiness.

Engage your senses to maximize the health benefits of being outdoors. Take time to pause and listen, as studies show that listening to nature sounds like bird songs and rushing water can help lower stress levels. Stop at the beachfront, sit down and practice calming breathing exercises, a technique that sends a message to your nervous system allowing you to reduce anxiety and move into a relaxation response.

During this COVID-19 please remember to following these social distancing guidelines:

  1. Keep about two metres (six feet) or the length of a queen-sized bed apart when possible.

  2. Keep your hands at your sides

  3. Greet others with a wave instead of a handshake, a kiss or hug

Get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather and surroundings that Peachland has to offer. Parks all across Canada will be celebrating Parks Day on Saturday, July 18th, a national day to recognize the important role parks play in creating and maintaining healthy and resilient ecosystems, while also contributing to human health and well-being. Remember to be Sun Safe and wear your sunglasses, wide-brim hat and UV protective clothing!

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