The human brain is a complex and powerful organ. It is capable of solving intricate problems, imagining new ideas, and understanding foreign subjects. What’s even more fascinating is that the brain continues to develop throughout our entire lives.
Our brain can process information, learn new things, and grow in response to new experiences. There are many benefits of spending time outdoors; it helps us breathe fresh air and get some exercise while enjoying the nature around us.
Fresh air and sunlight are also important for our mental health — both indoor and outdoor activities affect your mood and cognitive function. Curious about how outdoor activities can boost your brainpower? Keep reading to discover with COGNITION the numerous advantages of spending time in the great outdoors!
More Breathing Room
One of the most important benefits of outdoor activities is that they allow us to breathe more fresh air. Fresh air contains a high percentage of oxygen, which is essential for healthy cognitive function. Diet is another factor that heavily influences the amount of oxygen in your blood.
Research has found that diets high in carbohydrates and sugar reduce the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream. This can result in impaired cognitive function, including reduced concentration and slower reaction times.
Your mood and self-esteem can be heavily influenced by the quality of air you breathe. If you live in a polluted city, your mood and self-esteem might be negatively impacted by the impure air. In contrast, outdoor activities can help you breathe cleaner air. Spending time in nature also gives you more space to breathe — you don’t have to deal with the hustle and bustle of city life.
Improve Your Mood and Self-Esteem
Outdoor activities naturally boost your mood as well as your self-esteem. You will get more exposure to sunlight, which is essential for regulating and boosting mood. In fact, exposure to sunlight has been shown to reduce the risk of developing depression by up to 40 percent.
Many outdoor activities, such as hiking and gardening, involve interacting with nature. Nature is known to have a positive influence on your mood — it can be very soothing and help you unwind. Spending time in nature can help you feel connected, re-energized, and more inspired. If you have a garden and are keen to improve your mood and self-esteem, consider planting a flower garden. Flower gardening has been shown to reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and increase feelings of joy.
A Jump-Start for Brain Function
Interacting with nature has been shown to boost cognitive function, including attention and working memory, and spending time in nature might even improve your ability to learn new things.
One study found that spending time in nature boosted participants’ attention spans and working memory. Why? It stimulates your senses and requires you to focus your attention on the present. When you are surrounded by nature, you don’t have the option of zoning out and tuning everything out — you have to be aware of your surroundings. The same study found that being surrounded by nature reduces stress and helps you relax. Relaxation, in turn, helps boost cognitive function by reducing the levels of cortisol in your blood.
Maintain Cognitive Health
Outdoor activities are essential for maintaining cognitive health as you age. If you don’t engage in any outdoor activities, you risk developing cognitive impairments as you get older. Over time, your brain begins to shrink and lose volume and by the time you reach your 50s and 60s, you will notice some reduction in your cognitive function.
Depending on your lifestyle, you can choose to either delay or prevent cognitive decline. Engaging in physical activity has been proven to reduce the risk of cognitive impairment. This applies to all types of exercise, including outdoor activities. But don’t worry — you don’t have to be extremely active to maintain cognitive health. As long as you engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate activity per week, you can reduce the risks.
So what are you waiting for? Now that you know the advantages of outdoor activities on your brain, you should try to spend more time outdoors as often as you can. If you live in an urban environment, you can still enjoy the benefits of outdoor activities by exploring your city or nearby parks. You can also try going on hikes, gardening, cycling, and other outdoor activities. The more time you spend outdoors, the more benefits you will experience. Not only will you boost your brainpower, but you will also improve your mood and self-esteem!
Founded in 2008 as Organo Gold, ORGANO™ is dedicated to bringing the benefits of the earth’s nutritional riches to people throughout the world via its premium products that can be used daily to help to achieve a more energetic and healthier lifestyle.