Get into the garden – 6 benefits of being outdoors

Grass

There’s probably never been a better time to get outside.

Not only is a dose of fresh air good for the mind, body and soul, but being close to nature will help restore some balance in your life during these unprecedented times.

Here’s six ways that a dose of Mother Nature can benefit us all:

Boost your energy

One study suggests that spending 20 minutes in the open air gives you as much energy as a cup of coffee*.  This is down to the instantly energising powers of nature and the underlying bond between the human body and the natural world, which makes us ‘feel more alive’.  So next time you reach for your latter, why not head outside instead?

Be productive

Nothing quite lifts the spirits than seeing some fresh, colourful blooms in your garden. So, if you do manage to get outside for a break or as an activity, why not do some weeding or planting whilst you’re at it? Gardening is a great form of exercise, as it helps to release endorphins, known for having an impact on positive brain chemistry, and as well as keeping you happy, active and busy, it will help you be at one with nature.

Get some Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important for regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body**. These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy – thus boosting your immune system at the same time. Your body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin, but it doesn’t need loads of sun to make it. Getting some rays for 5 to 15 minutes 2-3 times a week should do it.

Enhance creativity

Being outside can also help with our creativity and problem-solving. Why? Well according to one study***, the immersion into nature, and the disconnection from multimedia and technology that comes with it, increases performance on problem-solving tasks. Plus, past research has shown that exposure to nature helps with our attention span, an effect known as the Attention Restoration Theory, making outdoor time important for developing the ability to concentrate.

Get a well-earned screen break

Working from home? Give your eyes a rest and help restore your focus if you’re struggling to stay motivated. According to the Health and Safety Regulations 1992, breaks away from the screen should be taken ‘periodically’. And what better way to take a break than by getting into the garden, resetting your posture and taking 5 minutes out of your working day!

Help relieve some stress

According to a report, by the University of East Anglia, people living closer to nature had reduced levels of stress. In fact, they found that exposure to greenspace ‘significantly’ reduces people’s levels of salivary cortisol – a physiological marker of stress*. This is especially important, considering in the UK, 12.8 million working days are lost annually due to stress, depression or anxiety.

And finally, if you’re looking for ways to relieve some muscular tension and stress, you could always consider acupuncture?

In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being.

I have studied both Medical Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medical Acupuncture. I consolidated my studies in China, the birthplace of acupuncture and have now used it, in combination with osteopathy, to help patients with a wide range of conditions.

Get in touch to find out how acupuncture can help today. Stay safe and well.

*https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/7803320/20-minutes-outdoors-as-good-as-cup-of-coffee.html

**https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-d/

*** https://www.nathab.com/blog/want-a-creativity-boost-take-a-walk-in-nature/

**** https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180706102842.htm

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