Staying Healthy Outside

10 Scientific Outdoor Health Facts

Most people are well aware of the anecdotal healing power that being outdoors brings to our emotional, physical and even mental well-being. Our friends post photos of the sunset with captions that claim their “soul needed that”, our parents have long spoken about the power of Vitamin D; but what do these things actually mean? What are the cold hard scientific benefits of being in fresh air? Below is a curated list of the top 10 powers of the outdoors.

Best towel for hiking

1. Increased Immunity

Research has shown that certain chemicals produced by plants increase humans white blood cell count when we breathe fresh air. Not to mention the cardiovascular benefits that you are getting from whatever outdoor activity you are participating in!

2. Improves Brain Function

You probably already know that oxygen is critical to maintain brain health and development, but do you know why? The fresh air of the outdoors sends oxygen through your blood to your brain along with enabling your lungs to operate at full capacity. The more oxygen going to your brain, the better your brain performs!

Minaret Adventure Blog Post

3. Prolonged Focus and Concentration

This is one of the many benefits of improved brain function. It has been proven that spending time outside actually improves your concentration and focus throughout the rest of the day.

4. Heat from Sunlight Naturally Reduces Pain

Feeling crampy and achy? Much like a targeted heating pad on sore muscles, the heat from the sun can reduce minor aches and pains.

Minaret Outdoor Gear in Yosemite

5. Aromatherapy Reduces Stress

Is there anything better than the smell of crisp fresh air, pine trees, or salt water? This ties into the abundance of oxygen and clean air outside. Natural scents like these are directly linked to reduced anxiety and feelings of calmness.

6. Helps Relieve Seasonal Affective Disorder

Doctors have noted that regardless of what the weather is like, spending time outside, even if it is cold and grey, can reduce the effects of SAD- seasonal affective disorder. Some of the impacts of SAD are depression, anxiety, and a lack of concentration. Obviously sunshine is the best cure, but it helps to know that even simple fresh air can aid in reducing symptoms of SAD!

Outdoor Adventure Blog Photo

7. Drops in Cortisol Reduce Anxiety and Lower Blood Pressure

Cortisol is the stress hormone, and there is evidence to support that being outside for 20 minutes a day is linked with lower & healthy cortisol levels.

8. Enhanced Creativity

Studies show that people are generally more creative when they are walking or engaging in daily activity outside. The activity is said to enhance your cognitive abilities.

Cold Water Surf Blog

9. Vitamin D Supports Nerve Growth

In our body, the presence of Vitamin D acts as a neuro compound that is responsible for regulating the development of the nervous system, and is commonly used in treatments of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimers.

10. Reduces Chance of Developing Nearsightedness

The sun casts out UV-B sun rays, which trigger the release of dopamine in the retina and circulate vitamin D. These things work together to protect the eyes from growing in a way that causes nearsightedness. Don’t stare into the sun though!

Oregon Coast with Minaret Team


The next time you go to hit the snooze button on your alarm, remember these 10 benefits of taking that extra half an hour in the morning to kickstart your day and body. You could even get more creative and pack a compact microfiber towel for some morning outdoor yoga on the beach or in a grassy park!

We would love if you shared this or left us a comment below if you found anything interesting or useful :)


Berman MG, Jonides J, Kaplan S. The cognitive benefits of interacting with nature. Psychol Sci. 2008;19(12):1207-12.
Driessnack M. Ask the expert. Children and nature-deficit disorder. J Spec Pediatr Nurs. 2009;14(1):73-5.
Lauren F Friedman and Kevin Loria. “11 scientific reasons you should be spending more time outside.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 22 Apr. 2016.
Haile, Rahawa. “’Forest Bathing’: How Microdosing on Nature Can Help With Stress.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 30 June 2017.
“How Does Nature Impact Our Wellbeing?” Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing.
Maas J, Verheij RA, Groenewegen PP, De vries S, Spreeuwenberg P. Green space, urbanity, and health: how strong is the relation?. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2006;60(7):587-92.
Mao GX, Lan XG, Cao YB, et al. Effects of short-term forest bathing on human health in a broad-leaved evergreen forest in Zhejiang Province, China. Biomed Environ Sci. 2012;25(3):317-24.
“Professional Practice.” Health Benefits of Nature.
Taylor AF, Kuo FE. Children with attention deficits concentrate better after walk in the park. J Atten Disord. 2009;12(5):402-9.
Tennessen CM, Cimprich B. Views to nature: Effects on attention. Journal of Environmental Psychology. 1995;15(1):77-85.
“This Is Your Brain on Nature.” National Geographic, 7 June 2017.
Kimie Nakagawa. Effect of vitamin D on the nervous system and the skeletal muscle. Clin Calcium. 2006 Jul;16(7):1182-87.
Richard Ryan. Spending Time in Nature Makes People Feel More Alive, Study Shows. June 3, 2010.
4 Reasons Why Walking Outside Benefits the Brain. June 19, 2020.

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    YES=as a dr =i prescribe;

    1-‘outdoors lifestyle for weekends’
    2-free vit d-sunshine
    3-exercise please -outdoors only

    So the 10 points article syncs with me ;as i take my morning ‘green tea’to invigorate and enlighten myself and others on freedom; provided by nature; for all of us to stay healthy; if only we learn to connect with nature outdoors.

    prem adheesh lekhi on
  • I had no idea 20 minutes outside lowes cortisol! It makes perfect sense, but I hadn’t put that together. I just know it makes me feel better to be in and work with nature. Thanks for the great info! Let’s get outside!

    Leslie Esquivel on
  • I love these great helpful tips.

    Sherry Saam on
  • I Agree 100% Outdoor FRESH air is the ultimate FREE natural remedy.

    It HEALS the Soul !!

    With that being said SOOOOOO are u Ready ?

    LIFE is a Journey with all sorts of TRAILS…….

    Let’s Go 🤙🏻

    Rick w. on
  • I love everything that was written about the outdoors. I couldn’t of said it better myself. I grew up near the mountains and it’s in my blood. I even took my little Chihuahua hiking for weeks at a time and she loves it! I feel so different when I leave the city to go to the mountains. I actually get so moved and emotional when it’s been awhile. I spend 80% of my time outdoors and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m 61 yrs old now and I’ve been hiking, camping and fishing since I was a very young girl. I’m blessed to be healthy and it’s all do to the Earth, Sun and Beautiful nature. Thanks for writing such a beautiful outlook on nature and our beautiful since of peace and happiness that it brings to so many. ;)

    Teresa Young on
  • Thank you for these tips! Can’t wait for longer days and more opportunities to be outside. I definitely think it helps with my cortisol levels and anxiety. Going hiking tomorrow to get outside!

    Valerie Ryan on
  • Very enlightening

    Julia on
  • Great article provided a lot of insight. Can’t wait to get back outdoors.

    Terrance Ray Trybus on
  • I loved the outdoors before and all these findings just make it more enjoyable. Thank you for putting me in the know with such an informative article.

    Gina Hirney on
  • Thank you for sharing these reasons for me to enjoy the outdoors even more!

    Blake on

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