Being Outside Helps You on the Inside Too

  • March 22, 2019
  • |Quartz
|
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Getting out in nature is a great way to improve you physical and mental health, even if it's for a short walk to the park.

Did you know being outside with nature not only improves your physical health, but also your emotional health? Don’t worry, you don’t have to trek up a mountain to truly reap the benefits of being outdoors. Getting outside for even a few moments regularly can help you put down your phone and take a break from other stressors you have in your daily life. Even low-impact exercise, such as yoga or tai chi or walking outside can help give both your mind and body a boost.1

What happens on the inside?

Studies show that by simply being outdoors, you can reduce your cortisol, a stress hormone. One study showed that being outdoors helps lower your blood pressure and adiponectin, a protein that helps regulate blood sugar levels. 2

Not all of us live in an area where it’s sunny enough every day to get outside. You can still give your mind and spirit a boost indoors too. It takes just five minutes every day with these four tips –

  1. Sit comfortably and focus on your breath
  2. Notice anything that takes your focus away from your breath, such as a lawnmower or a dog barking, or even a thought about the day’s activities
  3. If you do notice something else, try to let that distraction pass and ease your attention back to your breath.
  4. Take the time to breathe deeply and turn your attention inward

No matter where you are, finding ways to get away from screens, deadlines or worries will help you feel better, and be more mindful of what’s really important to your well-being.

If you’re looking for more ways to live healthier or exercise more, consider our Health Coaching program. Visit QuartzBenefits.com/healthcoaching to learn more.*

*State and Local members can call StayWell at (800) 821-6591 to learn about their health coaching opportunities.


Sources:
1Diana Kachan, PhD; Henry Olano, MPH; Stacey L. Tannenbaum, et. al, “Prevalence of Mindfulness Practices in the US Workforce: National Health Interview Survey,” (accessed December 21, 2018), available at cdc.gov.

2Park BJ, et al, “Physiological effects of Shirin-yoku – using salivary cortisol and cerebral activity as indicators,” (accessed December 21, 2018), available at ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

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