Plants produce chemicals known as phytoncides to keep them safe from insects. These airborne chemicals are readily available in the fresh air outdoors and offer immense health benefits for human beings. The Department of Environmental Conservation states that these chemicals help in increasing the natural production of NK white blood cells in the body. These white blood cells are extremely effective at killing tumor-infected cells and cells with a viral infection.
Pro Tip: Pine, Cedar, and Common Oak are known to produce these chemicals extensively. If you’re not allergic to these trees, consider ways to get them into your landscape.
Higher Vitamin D Levels
For most people, it is tough to find enough time to go out in the sun as most of the day goes on commuting, and working. This is also the reason why many Americans are deficient in vitamin D as they do not spend enough time out in the sun. Fortunately, you don’t need to spend hours outdoors as even 15 minutes outdoors can help in enhancing your vitamin D levels and making you feel better when spending time indoors.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to wear appropriate sunscreen if you plan to remain out in the sun for long.
Vitamin D is also beneficial for the treatment of inflammation and spending time outdoors also helps you practice grounding. It is a scientific concept that states that spending time outdoors or earthing helps in supplying negative electrons to the body and neutralizing free radicals responsible for chronic inflammation.
Pro Tip: Water your lawn on your own and don’t wear shoes when you get up in the morning. Another way to practice grounding is to walk on the damp grass.
Spending time outdoors also decreases the risk of developing near-sightedness or myopia, especially for children. Adults also benefit as spending time outdoors is associated with a reduction in stress, eyestrain, and headaches due to computer vision syndrome. Needless to say, spending time outdoors also means you spend time away from staring at the screen, even if it is just spending time in Wooden Pergolas.
Pro Tip: Get a bird feeder and spend some time watching birds in the backyard.
There is scientific research to prove that human beings benefit from stopping and smelling the flowers. Forest bathing is a practice in Japan where an individual just stops and connects with nature through all of their senses. Forest bathing is especially beneficial for mental health and it has been confirmed in a 2019 study on people of working age. The study involved people with depressive tendencies and without, and found it beneficial for people with depressive tendencies.
Pro Tip: Take out a two-hour block to just unplug and enjoy that time smelling, listening to, seeing, tasting, and touching your own backyard.
Invest Time in Relationships
A successful relationship stands on the foundation of communication. You don’t need to do much to strengthen your relationships as something as simple as spending time together around a fire pit or on your patio is enough. When you spend time out in nature, it also helps in enhancing your cognitive function which makes you think clearly and allows you to communicate better.
Pro Tip: Change the habit of eating in front of the TV. Take your meals outside and eat on the patio or go for an impromptu picnic.
Prosocial behavior is defined as voluntary actions with the intention to benefit or help an individual or a group of individuals. A study done by the University of California, Berkeley has found that spending time outdoors in nature increases prosocial behavior. The sights and sounds of nature help in eliciting positive emotions inside you which not only makes you happy but also enhances the want to help others.
Pro Tip: If you are feeling cut off from society, take some time in a day planting or maintaining vegetables, trees, or flowers in the backyard.