As we go through our day-to-day lives, there are many factors that affect our health: our stress levels, the foods we consume, our exercise (or lack thereof), medicines, and illness–just to name a few.

When we think about investing in our health, what usually comes to mind? Buying a gym membership? Cutting out soft drinks? Hiring a personal trainer? Eating salads?

While eating well and exercising are crucial to staying physically fit, there are many other things that contribute to improving our health and allowing us to feel better.

One of those things happens to be getting outdoors.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “A little fresh air does a body good.” So, why is stepping outside good for you?

  1. It can ease your stress. Simply walking outside and taking a couple deep breathes can help relieve your depression and/or anxiety. According to a study from the University of Michigan, walks through nature are connected to improved mental health and a positive attitude.
  2. It can inspire creativity and give you that boost of energy you need. We live in a world of over-stimulation: computer monitors, iPhone screens, full schedules and never-ending to-do lists. It is so healthy to take a break and enjoy the simplicity of the great outdoors, even if its only for a few minutes.
  3. The sounds are soothing. Our well-being is impacted by what we listen to. The sounds of the outdoors are very natural and relaxing: birds chirping, light breeze, falling leaves. This can help improve our mood as it is easy to become uptight and tense keeping up with our busy schedules.
  4. You get a natural dose of Vitamin D. The sun provides the best source of Vitamin D, which is vital for our immune systems. While there are other ways to consume Vitamin D, it is always healthier to consume it in a natural way.

There is more than one way to spend time outside. Whether kayaking or hiking, flying a kite or walking your dog, reading a book in the park or going for a jog, it’s good to make going outside a priority. Your health will thank you.