The biophilia hypothesis states that emotional affiliation with nature might be hardwired into the human brain and spending time outdoors is essential to our health and well-being. Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson introduced this idea in the 80s and since then, numerous studies have shown some significant health benefits from exercising outdoors.
Research suggests that “green exercise”- just 5 minutes of physical activity in the presence of nature- is all it takes to improve our mood and sense of well-being. Other positive effects of outdoor activity on our health can include: improved immune function, lower blood pressure, decreased cortisol (stress hormone) levels, and improved cognitive functioning.
So next time you have a choice to train outdoors rather than the gym, go outside. Plan walking meetings at work, garden on weekends, or find other ways to enjoy being in nature. Don’t suffer from what author Richard Louv coined “nature deficit disorder” and find ways to connect with nature as often as you can.