Is it more beneficial to walk outdoors than indoors? Will walking outside enhance your health and well-being? The answer is yes, it is and yes, it will.
8 Benefits Of Walking Outdoors
1. Breathe Natural Air
Indoor air can be laden with all sort of chemicals from paint, carpet, cleaning products, and other things. Breathing deeply is a very good thing – it’s good to use your lungs fully – but breathing deeply indoors can mean inhaling lots of pollutants. There may be pollutants outside, too, but that depends on the area that you walk in. If you are in a green space, the trees and plant life help to scrub the toxins from the air. That means fresher air for you!
2. Vitamin D For Good Health
There may be some controversy on this, depending on which expert you listen to, but I believe that the sunshine really should hit your bare skin. Not skin covered with sunscreen but bare skin. Let the sun kiss your cheeks and the rest of your body and it will create vitamin D (which is really a hormone.) We need vitamin D for good health of almost every body part. The plan is not to burn but to get a good dose of sun – enough to cause the skin to tan over time.
3. Good For Eyes And Brain
Sunshine also has the full spectrum of light and that is good for your eyes and brain. When full spectrum light passes through your bare eyes, it causes ‘happy’ activity in your brain. Being outdoors during the daytime also allows you to enjoy the bright greenery around, and the vivid colors of flowers and birds. Looking into the distance outdoors also gives your eyes a needed break from short indoor views.
4. Good For Lungs
You can get good lung movement from actively walking or exercising indoors, but walking outdoors lets you really swing both your arms and legs which get your lungs pumping fully. You probably won’t have to worry about bumping into anyone or slipping on a slick indoor walkway.
5. Good For Your Leg Muscles
Walking in natural surroundings usually means the surface under your feet may be rough, bumpy, or irregular. Walking on an irregular surface causes more muscle activity in your legs and feet. Walking in snow gets even more vigorous. When you lift your legs higher, you have to use your whole body for balance.
You won’t get that kind of motion indoors! Your whole foot has to work to balance your body on a bumpy path. As your foot moves slightly in various directions, the muscles of your lower leg also have to change and compensate to provide balance and stability. It’s a whole leg work out that travels up to your buttocks!
Your whole foot has to work to balance your body on a bumpy path. As your foot moves slightly in various directions, the muscles of your lower leg also have to change and compensate to provide balance and stability. It’s a whole leg work out that travels up to your buttocks!
6. Good For Sensory Organs
All of your senses are activated when you walk outdoors. Depending on the season, you may smell flowers, sweetgrass, musty mud, or mushrooms; feel snowflakes on your nose; listen to the music of birds, the chatter of squirrels, and the rustle of leaves being crunched underfoot. You can see blue, brown, and red birds flitting and swooping, the shadows of trees, and dappled sunlight.
7. Good For Blood Circulation
The wind or a soft breeze may kiss your cheeks and stimulate your circulation.
8. Good For Your Overall Health
You can reach to the tree tops for an adventurous stretch when you stop to follow the flight of a bird or watch the stream from an overhead plane. You might feel the need to bend or squat down to examine some small curious world that is never seen indoors.
And maybe, just maybe, depending on the season, you will find a bush with a brightly colored luscious berry here and there that gives you joy. That’s something you can only find when you are walking outdoors in a natural environment.