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How to get the benefits of the great outdoors, indoors

To keep each other safe, we need to stay inside. There are many health benefits we gain from going outside and it is important to ensure that these benefits are supplemented in other ways so that we can continue to prioritise our own health, whilst we remain indoors.

Today, we're exploring 5 key benefits of going outside and sharing tips and techniques to help us achieve these benefits indoors!

Connect to nature

Going outside allows us to connect more closely to nature which has been shown to dramatically reduce our stress levels. However, there are a few things we can do to ensure we get these benefits whilst we remain indoors.

Studies show that natural beauty can elicit feelings of ‘awe’, giving us a much needed mental boost. Perhaps next time you head out to the supermarket, pick up a beautiful plant or flower that you can place in your living space. Place beautiful natural objects around your living area so that you can see them regularly; for example, shells, starfish, plants or wooden objects can all help to connect us to nature.

For those of us working from home, if you need more tips on how to focus - read our ‘10 ways to improve focus and win at life’ blog

Discover more tips on how to make space for physical and mental health at home.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for our health. When the sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays hit cholesterol in the skin cells, energy is provided for Vitamin D synthesis to occur. If we don’t get enough exposure to the sun then our bodies don’t produce enough Vitamin D and we can experience Vitamin D deficiency. This may lead to getting sick or infected often, fatigue and tiredness, bone and back pain, depression, bone loss, hair loss and/or muscle pain.

Of course, the sun is our best source to get Vitamin D from, however if we are not getting as much as normal then it may benefit you to take vitamin D supplement just to ensure that you maintain optimal health.

Regular exercise

During this chaotic and uncertain time, many of us may feel more anxious than we usually do. Spending time in the great outdoors has been shown to ease anxiety, depression and other mental health issues - especially when combined with exercise. You can reap those benefits even whilst you remain indoors by positioning your yoga mat to face some indoor plants or a window and ensuring you workout regularly.

As well as reducing your stress levels, regular exercise has numerous benefits for our health, including: improved mood, weight control, muscle and bone health, reduce risk of chronic disease, helps skin health, helps brain and memory, helps relaxation and sleep quality.

Checkout the home yoga section on our blog for more articles to help you workout at home.

Natural Light

Besides providing us with Vitamin D, as mentioned above, natural light provides many health benefits, including; improving our sleep and our mood.

There are a few things we can do in our houses that will help to boost our exposure to natural light. Firstly, by placing more mirrors around your living area, you can bounce natural light from windows around your living areas. A more obvious one - open the curtains! Remove heavy curtains and/or drapes during the day, wherever possible to maximise the natural light in your home, even if you only pop into a room twice a day it’s worth pulling back those drapes and letting the light come shining in.

Use a reflective colour palette in your home to encourage that light to bounce around the room. White is the most reflective colour, so choosing colours as close as possible to white will really heighten this effect. An eggshell wash or pastel colours will brighten up your space in no time. Don’t overlook the floor either, a light-coloured rug can transform your space.

You could also try a light therapy lamp, which can help treat symptoms of seasonal affected disorder (SAD).

Fresh air

Of course, one of the main benefits of going outside is for fresh air. Fresh air increases the flow of oxygen in our bodies which can improve our digestive system, our immune system, give us energy, make us happier and clean our lungs.

One benefit of the recent lockdowns and fall in travel is much lower levels of air pollution - so open your windows to let in that fresh air. Placing a fan near open windows can help draw in the air and keep good circulation around your home.

Breathing fresh air deeply into our lungs can help to slow down our heart rate, improve anxiety levels and reduce stress. For more tips on how breathing can have massive health benefits, particularly on our immune systems (which seems more important than ever during this Pandemic), read our blog on how you can change your life with the Wim Hof Method.

Read next >>>

Home yoga series of articles

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