The Outdoors

I want you to get out there and walk – better yet, run! – on the road God called you to travel.

Ephesians 4:1, MSG

We all love to be in nature, the sounds of birds, the beauty of a sunrise , but it is not just a ‘feel good’ experience, there is actually research that has been done on the health benefits of being in nature.

Reduces stress and hypertension: Studies show that people who spend more time outdoors have better moods, expanded thinking, and find more meaning in life than individuals who often stay indoors. as your stress levels reduce, this can have an impact on high blood levels (hypertension).

Awareness of conservation: It is only when you go out into nature that you become aware of the relationship between humans and nature – for instance we can see clean water and the life that it supports, and this inspires us to work for cleaner urban water. When we feel the clean air, it makes us more aware of the air pollution that we live with in cities. You will not protect what you do not love – if you don’t experience nature you won’t love it!

Improved sleep: exposure to sunlight during the day increases your melatonin production at night – which helps to regulate your sleep cycle. Physical activity leaves you physically tired which will help you to sleep.

Better vision: Hours behind a computer or smart phone screen can take its toll on your eyesight. Spending time outdoors gives your eyes a chance to focus on objects farther away, which can reduce eye strain.

Improved relationships: Getting out into nature is a great way to reconnect with family and friends and catch up in person. A hike is a great way to restart your youth group or as a bonding time for church council!