Benefits of Unplugging & Going Outdoors
Thursday October 13, 2022
By Tammy Pitts
Let’s face it –– most of us are glued to our phones and tablets, and we spend way too much time indoors scrolling through our social media feeds, streaming and binging shows, or checking our emails. Yet, the smell of pumpkin spice lattes, autumn colors, and hayrides remind us that the fall season is upon us and it’s time to put our phones down and live in the moment! Take in the sight, sounds, and smells of a new season arriving. Below are some health benefits of unplugging and connecting with nature.
Americans are among the most stressed out people in the world, with more than 55% feeling stressed most of the day every day. But spending just 15-30 minutes outside can reduce those stress levels. So, put the phone away, lace up your jogging shoes, and go for a quick walk or jog. A walk or run outdoors can also make you feel happy and give you a sense of freedom. Even gardening can improve symptoms of stress. Being active in your garden allows you to receive the fruits of your labor in terms of fresh fruits and vegetables along with exercise at the same time.
Whether it’s sitting out on your back patio, walking your dog in a neighborhood park, or unwinding at the beach, nature offers a calming effect. Spending time outdoors makes you feel happy because it releases endorphins, which boosts your mood. Studies have found that just a short period outdoors in nature can lower blood pressure and reduce cortisol levels –– the natural chemical in your body that causes stress. The great outdoors is the perfect place to decompress and rest your mind from the stresses and woes of life.
The outdoors is a powerful healing space
Additionally, being outdoors is restorative for the body and mind. The sunlight provides natural Vitamin D –– and simply looking at trees can lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety. People who exercise outdoors often feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle life again.
Being outdoors gives you clarity and improved focus
Take time to stop and smell the flowers –– literally. Put the phone down and unplug in nature. Gaze upon the lake or ocean or scoop up a handful of wildflowers and inhale. The fresh air can calm your mind and help ground you enough to spark new ideas for a project you might be working on, or give you a new perspective on life. Walking outdoors can also boost creativity and increase focus and attention. After all, nature is its own clarity break.
The best thing about the outdoors is anyone can do it. Anyone can go outside and connect with nature –– and there is no wrong way to do it. Activities to get you moving outside include:
- Yoga or meditation on the beach.
- Taking a bike ride along a nature trail.
- Going outside to exercise in your backyard instead of inside at the gym.
- Going camping. There typically isn’t much wifi, so you’ll definitely be able to unplug and relax with family and friends while surrounded by nature.
- Try ziplining and experience exhilarating adventure and epic views from the top!
There are a host of other activities you can do outside, from birdwatching to having a picnic in the park or hiking. Go Ape has a multitude of outdoor adventures to choose from. As you plan your next adventure, consider leaving the cell phone at home so that you can take it all in and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer. Each new season is filled with opportunities to relax and unwind. You just have to get out there!
Tammy has an extensive background in journalism, media relations, social media strategy, marketing, and brand management. She resides in Michigan with her family which includes her two sons and their Goldendoodle, Max. In her free time she loves to read, travel, and root for the Michigan State Spartans. Go Green!