Fresh air and the benefits
I love getting out into the countryside for a long walk with the family and dog. Part of the reason why I love it so much is the fresh air and being surrounded by colours of nature. I love getting away from my street which is basically just brick, concrete, traffic and pollution. Breathing in fresh air feels so good!
Although the boys always complain whenever I suggest a walk, I think they secretly do love it especially when we make it fun. Spotting butterflies, different birds and flowers make it interesting. They are still only young and don't appreciate the world around them and how lucky they are to have acres of woodland and fields just a short drive away.
To be honest ive been feeling quite anxious and stressed for the last couple of weeks. This lockdown situation hasn't helped as I like doing stuff! I love exploring new places and going on adventures and we haven't been able to do this. Staying indoors can have a negative impact on your mental health, especially when you realise you havnt breathed an ounce of fresh air into your lungs.
Fo those of you who aren't keen on exercise, rest assured you don't have to hike for miles and miles to feel the benefits of fresh air. Even sitting in your garden will be benificial. This stops your body from using stale air continously as our bodies need fresh air to function properly.
Its easy to spend some much time indoors especially when the weather is cold. Curling up on the sofa with a nice cuppa tea is so appealing - and don't get me wrong, I can be the most laziest person! Just ask my partner! We are coming to Summer now so there is no excuse not to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. There are so many beautiful spots on our doorstep.
If you need more convincing, here are some of the benefits of fresh air:
1. Its good for digestion
I know! Fresh air helps you to digest food more easily. From all the health benefits of fresh air this one is really important if you are trying to improve digestive health.
If you work in an office, like I do (pre-Covid) you tend to sit around at your computer and maybe you might eat your lunch at your desk too? Its been found that if you eat at your desk, it causes the blood supply to divert away from the digestive system, instead supporting the brain so that we can concentrate. For optimum digestion we need to be in a relaxed state ideally moving around away from stress. Taking a walk outside can assist with that.
2. It relives stress and anxiety
Have you ever noticed that certain aromas outside can make you feel good? Research shows that exposing your lungs to fresh air and breathing in the scents of flowers and plants can help relive stress and anxiety. These scents include lavender, fresh cut grass, rose and jasmine. Oxygen is thought to affect levels of serotonin released in the body, in turn, contributing to the feelings of happiness and relaxation.
3. It helps clear the lungs
Most people understand the dangers of smoking but less think about the damage that can be inflicted on the lungs of people living in a heavily polluted area. Our airways can be irritated, heightening the chances of an asthma attack or even increasing the likelihood of cancer. Air pollution caused by an overabundance of cars and factory smoke can also affect lung development and can lead to heart disease.
4. It strengthens the immune system
Did you know that exposure to fresh air could help to generate the bacteria needed to fight off harmful pathogens. A pathogen is the first link in the chain of infection and the only way it can be stopped is to have a host of good bacteria defending your body. Getting a daily dose of fresh air is sometimes enough to help your immune system to fight off pathogens.
5. You will have more energy and sharpen your mind
If you send a lot of time indoors your may feel yourself feeling the effects of fatigue and tiredness . This isn't always down to lack of sleep or hours spent in front of a computer screen, it may be due to the limited amount of fresh air you have at your disposal with many of us being used to breathing in the impure air that circulates around our home or office.
A number of studies show that visiting your local park or woodland area could actually help increase your energy levels. A series of studies carried out by Rochester University concluded that being outside in nature for just 20 minutes a day is enough to significantly boost vitality levels.
How do you get your daily dose of fresh air?