When we think of the benefits of being outside, we tend to think of outdoor exercise like hiking, trail running, rock climbing, or cycling in terms of their physical rewards.
But studies show that merely being outdoors may have some pretty substantial benefits for your brain, too. So whether you’re working out, doing chores, or simply walking outdoors, consider extending your activity. Here are a few of the benefits of being outside.
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1. Spending Time in Nature May Improve Short-term Memory
walking on nature trail | benefits of being outside
If you find yourself a little more forgetful than usual, it might be worth your time to stop what you’re doing and head for the nearest park for a quick walk.
In a study of short-term memory:
One group was sent on a stroll through an arboretum
Another had to walk through busy city streets
The group that got to see the trees performed better on a short-term memory task than the city-walkers
So the next time you can’t remember what it is you were supposed to be doing, it may help to reap the benefits of being outside and take a walk in the woods.
2. Being Outdoors Might Aid Cognition
man working at home | benefits of being outside
It’s not just simply the ability to recall things that gets better when you get some good outdoor time. Also check the website https://www.hollandbuiten.nl
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Studies have found that outdoor activities may boost cognitive function overall by offering the brain a wide variety of low-key, modestly-attention-grabbing stimuli (instead of the direct, stress-inducing stimuli like an urgent Slack notification from your boss).
And the more time you spend outdoors, the greater the effect: A study in PLOS ONE found that backpackers who took a creative problem-solving test after four days isolated from technology performed 50-percent better than those who took the test before hitting the trail.
Although we all can’t always take four days off to give our brains a boost, even a short amount of time will help, and it all comes in addition to the mental benefits of regular ol’ exercise, too!