Spend More Time in Nature: Unlocking Health and Wellbeing Benefits

The clarion call of the wild resonates deep within us, urging us to seek sanctuary amidst nature’s embrace. With the relentless march of urbanisation, over four-fifths of people in the United States find themselves domiciled within the kinetic buzz of city life. This migration from rural roots to metropolitan manifestations brings with it a detachment from the natural world. This phenomenon is increasingly associated with a litany of contemporary health issues. Stress, anxiety, obesity, and cardiovascular disease are but a few of the ailments exacerbated by our growing estrangement from the great outdoors.

Recognising this disconnection, researchers have coined the term’ nature deprivation’ to describe the burgeoning void between humans and their environment. Yet, a simple remedy looms—reconnection with the natural realm. Evidence suggests that as little as two hours per week bathing in nature’s presence can propel significant improvements in both mental and physical wellbeing. Whether it is lifting spirits with a stroll along a sun-kissed shore or the tranquillity induced by stargazing in seclusion, nature’s therapeutic potency is undeniable. Even so, many fail to fully grasp the multitude of health benefits nature’s tapestry offers, leading to an underutilisation of this readily available yet profoundly impactful source of healing and rejuvenation.

Benefits of Sunlight

Beneficial sun rays are crucial in supporting essential life processes on Earth. In humans, sunlight serves as a natural Vitamin D source, vital for enhancing calcium absorption. This process contributes to stronger bones, healthier joints, and better dental health. Additionally, Vitamin D aids in bolstering the immune system and improving blood circulation, which may result in lowered blood pressure.

Sun exposure also naturally elevates serotonin levels, a hormone that elevates mood and aids in maintaining focus and calm. It is further instrumental in regulating the body’s circadian rhythms, orchestrating sleep patterns, and managing the production of melatonin—which assists in diminishing stress and countering depression and anxiety.

While the advantages of sunlight are significant, moderation is key. Experts suggest a daily dose of ten to twenty minutes of daylight meets Vitamin D requirements. Furthermore, it’s imperative to apply sunscreen during sun exposure to protect the skin from harmful UV rays.

Oceanic Influence on Health

The association between ocean proximity and human wellbeing is heavily endorsed by research. The ocean air is laden with high levels of negative ions that boost oxygen absorption, essential for various bodily functions. This enhanced oxygen uptake can increase energy levels and improve overall wellbeing.

Breathing in the saline breeze from the sea could aid in stabilising mood-regulating serotonin levels, consequently alleviating stress and diminishing fatigue. Additionally, the consistent crashing of waves may have a soothing effect on the brain, fostering a state of meditation and providing a respite from life’s anxieties.

The saline waters of the sea are brimming with nutrients such as minerals, vitamins and amino acids, known for their natural antibiotic and antibacterial properties. These elements prompt the body’s reparative processes and bolster immune defences. Magnesium, prevalent in seawater, is particularly noted for muscle relaxation and enhancing skin suppleness.

Moreover, the coastal environment naturally promotes physical exercise. Swimming in the sea offers a comprehensive workout, engaging various muscle groups. Even a simple activity like strolling along the shore can be more demanding as the muscles adapt to the shifting sands, providing additional benefits.


The majesty of mountains extends beyond their visual grandeur, offering noteworthy benefits for both mental and physical wellbeing. Scientists have found that the pure mountain air, often crisp and unpolluted, provides a haven, particularly for those with respiratory issues, even mitigating asthma symptoms. High altitudes are redolent with natural fragrances such as pine, which reduce stress and depression levels. Additionally, at the end of a day spent in higher elevations, the scent of lavender, pervasive around the lower mountain terrains, might be encountered, aiding in improved sleep quality.

Mountains are not simply a retreat for the soul; they offer tangible health advantages. Research suggests that residing at elevated altitudes correlates with enhanced cardiovascular health. The adaptive response to the reduced oxygen levels in the atmosphere can encourage the formation of new blood vessels, facilitating improved circulation and diminishing the risk of heart-related conditions. Furthermore, the high-altitude environment has been linked to natural weight management benefits, as studies indicate an association with lower obesity rates in such regions.

The crystal-clear waters found in mountain springs carry their health-promoting properties. Rich in essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium, sodium, and iron, these spring waters can help purify the body and improve overall health.

The serenity of nature in the mountains has long been sought after for mental tranquillity. The amalgamation of alpine scents and sounds is a natural nerve balm. It encourages individuals to decompress from the haste of modern life. Physical exertion during mountain activities like hiking generates endorphins and affords an acute appreciation for life’s beauty.

In terms of physical activity, mountains offer a playground for healthy pursuits. Whether hiking, climbing, cycling, canoeing, or engaging in winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding, the choices available cater to diverse preferences and provide ample opportunity for a refreshing mountain experience.

Forest Benefits

Strolling through a woodland environment is a source of profound physical and psychological restoration. Research indicates that even a brief 20-minute encounter with nature can prompt beneficial physiological responses. As natural air purifiers, forests significantly enhance the quality of air-breathing in these areas, which is exceptional due to the abundance of oxygen, more so in evergreen woodlands where trees such as pine, cedar, spruce, or fir dominate.

When immersed in these settings, a person inhales phytoncides, which are organic compounds trees emit to repel insects. These compounds notably affect human health, markedly bolstering the function and number of natural killer cells. They are a pivotal component of the immune system. They are known for their swift response to virus-infected cells and emerging tumours. The impact on these cells has persisted for over a month following a single forest visit.

Additionally, the essences of forests – from the essential oils produced by plants and trees – alleviate stress. They have been shown to support mood improvement by reducing cortisol levels, which can also contribute to decreased blood pressure. Being in a forest can augment vigour, enhance brain functions, sharpen concentration, and recuperate memory.

Forest excursions can be augmented with physical pursuits; gentle hikes or jogs along verdant trails provide cardiovascular benefits and the enjoyment of the fresh outdoors. Activities like berry picking or leaf collecting contribute to physical wellbeing by incorporating subtle yet effective movements like squatting and bending.

Desert Climate and Health Benefits

Deserts are renowned for their extensive sunshine throughout the year, facilitating vitamin D synthesis and instrumental in maintaining bone health. The sun’s rays play a vital role in this natural process.

Deserts’ typical hot and arid conditions may provide symptomatic relief for individuals with arthritis. Heat can alleviate joint stiffness and muscle tightness, improving mobility and reducing discomfort.

Furthermore, the low humidity in desert environments promotes faster wound healing, with the drier air reducing the likelihood of infections and inflammation.

For those seeking physical activity, deserts offer many options, including hiking and rock climbing. Such actions trigger perspiration, which aids in detoxifying the body. However, it’s essential to maintain adequate hydration by drinking sufficient water in these high-temperature settings.


Stargazing is a type of mindful meditation, increasingly embraced for its ability to draw individuals into the present. As one gazes upwards, the enveloping darkness prompts a connection to the vast cosmos, reducing worldly concerns to mere whispers. This interaction with the celestial bodies cultivates a serene state where mental and physical strain begins to dissipate. Observing the night sky offers more than just tranquillity; it can ignite the spark of creativity and provide profound insights into one’s existence within the universe.


Engaging with animals presents a genuine opportunity to embrace the outdoors, aiding mental health and social wellbeing. Encounters with dogs or horses, specifically, have demonstrated considerable benefits. These interactions have been shown to alleviate stress, diminish anxiety, and ease symptoms of depression. Furthermore, they foster social connections and elicit strong, positive emotional reactions.

For individuals unable to own pets, alternatives abound. Consider opportunities such as aiding at animal shelters or participating in equine activities at nearby farms. These can offer valuable animal interactions without the commitment of ownership.

Beyond the confines of urban environments, where the built landscape often confines our view, seeking open spaces is essential. Venturing to natural settings like the sea or mountainous areas provides expansive vistas and a sense of freedom. Nevertheless, even smaller green spaces closer to home can significantly contribute to one’s connection with nature. The key lies in purposefully engaging with these environments, whether a park or a solitary tree, to incorporate the essence of nature into daily life.

In summary, stepping away from urbanity and connecting with animals in nature can provide substantial mental and emotional health advantages, underscoring the value of seeking these experiences in whatever capacity possible.