Spring has sprung! If you look hard enough, you’ll see little green sprouts working their way through the once-frozen ground. You know what that means? It’s time to get outside!
Celebrate nature’s new beginnings with a brisk walk, de-creak your knees on the tennis court, or play catch with your kids in the backyard. Did you know that getting outside can improve both your physical and mental health?
Here are SIX compelling reasons to get outside today!
- Increase mobility. The more you exercise, the more mobile you’ll become, especially if you add stretching into the mix. Research proves that stretching regularly can increase muscle length and improve a person’s range of motion. It can also align collagen fibers while muscles heal from an injury.
Try these three mobility-boosting golf stretches designed by our certified, The Vital Stretch® specialists. They are excellent stretches regardless if you are a golfer or not!
STRETCH ONE STRETCH TWO STRETCH THREE
- Revitalize your life. The Japanese art of forest bathing (a.k.a. Shinrin-yoku) is defined as “taking in the atmosphere of the forest.” According to multiple scientists, walking through a forest can have incredible benefits on our health. From lowering blood pressure to reducing stress, becoming one with nature can help revitalize your body and mind. Plus, it’s super easy to do.
- Improve your memory and attention. Researchers from the University of Michigan found that being outside in nature helps improve concentration by allowing people to relax. Instead of having to focus on avoiding being hit by a car in an urban setting, for instance, someone walking through the woods can focus on the soothing sound of a bird chirping or a warm breeze tickling her cheek.
- Improve your immunity. Spending time in nature can increase our immunity, found authors of a study published in the journal Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine. Even short trips to a forest can boost our body’s natural killer cells, which target and kill cancer and other virus-infected cells. Walking in a busy city doesn’t have the same disease-fighting effects.
- Increase your lifespan. High blood pressure and cholesterol levels are a recipe for disaster, especially when it comes to your heart. Luckily, regular brisk walks can relieve both conditions, while strengthening your ticker. A review of research papers on the physiological effects of forest bathing found that being in nature can lower your cortisol (a hormone released by stress), pulse rate and blood pressure.
- Boost your mood. A Japanese study of 60 young women found that a brief walk in a forest helped the participants feel more relaxed, comfortable and happy. According to the researchers, this simple task resulted in massive benefits including, reduced tension and anxiety, increased energy, and lower feelings of depression and hostility. No forest around? Don’t sweat it! Head to your nearest park or tree-lined street.