Taking part in outdoor activities creates a significant impact on physical and mental health. Outdoor pursuits promote physical activity which leads to improved cardiovascular fitness, increased strength, and enhanced flexibility. Walking, hiking, cycling, swimming, and sports help burn calories and build muscle which is key to maintaining a healthy weight. Spending time outdoors also allows for exposure to sunlight which is essential to producing natural vitamin D allowing your body to increase its bone health, immune function, and mental well-being. Outdoor activities reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure and decrease stress hormones such as cortisol. Outdoor pursuits provide opportunities for true social interaction which fosters a sense of belonging and compass depression and anxiety.
Benefits of Outdoor Activities for Physical Health
Physical health can be defined as the overall condition of your body, taking into consideration fitness levels, absence of disease, and immunity. A person in good physical health has a body working at peak performance in terms of its processes and functions. A study by the International Association of Applied Psychology (IIAP) found that exercising in natural outdoor environments had a positive effect on anxiety, fatigue, positive affect, vigor, and depression as compared to urban environments (Lopez, R. P, 2). Outdoor activities offer numerous benefits for physical health, supported by scientific evidence.
Here are some key benefits:
Fights and Prevents Chronic Disease: Recent research by the National Institute of Health (NIH) supports the positive impact of spending time outdoors on physical activity levels and chronic disease risk. Studies have shown that individuals who spend more time outdoors, whether on work days or non-work days, tend to engage in less sedentary behavior and more moderate to vigorous physical activity. This suggests that outdoor time contributes to a more active lifestyle. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that increased time spent outdoors is associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases. While the relationship between time outdoors and chronic disease risk is partially explained by activity levels, controlling for activity levels does not completely diminish the association. This implies that time spent in natural environments may have additional health benefits beyond the promotion of physical activity alone.
Better Coordination and Neuromuscular Endurance: Engaging in outdoor activities enhances neuromuscular endurance and coordination. Running on trails or uneven surfaces challenges the neuromuscular system, promoting endurance. A study by the International Journal of Environmental Research and public health shows that outdoor sports require quick reactions and coordinated movements, improving neuromuscular coordination. Balancing on uneven terrains and performing functional movements further develop coordination. Overall, outdoor activities provide unique stimuli that contribute to the development of neuromuscular endurance and coordination.
Boosted Immune System: Spending time outdoors exposes individuals to fresh air and sunlight, both of which can positively impact the immune system. Sunlight triggers the production of vitamin D, which is crucial for immune function. Fresh air and exposure to natural environments may also enhance the immune response. Scientists at the NIH believe that exposure to plant-derived chemicals known as phytoncides can potentially elevate the levels of white blood cells in our bodies. This increase in white blood cells is believed to enhance our immune response, aiding in the fight against viruses and infections.
Being outdoors in any capacity has many health benefits for the human condition. Pairing outdoor exposure with physical activity allows you to increase your stamina, coordination, cardiovascular health, and immunity, reduce inflammation and fight chronic disease and contribute to the body’s overall homeostasis and physical well-being.
Outdoor Activities and Their Physical Health Benefits
There are so many unique outdoor activities apart from doing your regular fitness routine that can contribute to increased physical health. Some people have different fitness levels and some may enjoy one action over another which makes outdoor exercise that much more beneficial for its versatility is endless.
Here’s a description of some popular activities and their associated benefits, along with tips and advice on starting and maintaining these activities:
Hiking: Hiking involves walking on natural trains or landscapes. It offers cardiovascular exercise, strengthens lower body muscles, improves balance and coordination, and promotes mental well-being through exposure to nature. A novice hiker must start with shorter, easier trains and gradually increase distance and difficulty with time. Wearing the best footwear and carrying water will help the hiking experience.
Biking/Cycling: Cycling is a low-impact and easy activity that improves cardiovascular fitness, can strengthen leg muscles, and helps enhance joint mobility. The best is, to begin with shorter rides at a comfortable and flat pace and gradually increase duration and intensity.
Swimming: Swimming is a full-body workout that improves cardiovascular endurance, builds muscular strength and tone, and enhances flexibility. It is low-impact and suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Start with shorter swim sessions, gradually increasing distance and intensity. Ensure proper swim technique, use appropriate swim gear, and follow safety guidelines at pools or open water.
Running: Running is a versatile activity that improves cardiovascular fitness, builds leg strength, and supports weight management. It can be done anywhere, from trails to city streets. Begin with a mix of walking and jogging, gradually increasing running intervals. Wear proper running shoes, warm up before each session, and listen to your body to prevent injuries.
Tips for starting and maintaining outdoor activities:
Some many tips and tricks can contribute to success and growth when performing outdoor activities. Setting realistic goals with achievable targets is a great way to get started. Gradually increasing intensity or duration allows you to increase your stamina over time. Warming up and cooling down is also very important to a successful outdoor activity. It is always important to prioritize warm-up exercises as well as stretching to prepare your body and prevent injuries. Staying hydrated may be one of the most important aspects of completing outdoor activities. Carry water and drink regularly during activities, especially in warm weather. In addition, it is essential to pay attention to fatigue, pain, or discomfort in your body and rest when needed. It is always important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
Benefits of Outdoor Activities for Mental Health
Mental health refers to a person’s psychological and emotional well-being. It includes the way individuals think feel and behave, as well as their ability to cope with life challenges and maintain stable relationships. Mental health is crucial for a fulfilling and productive life and affects how individuals perceive themselves, their surroundings, and others. Outdoor activities, especially nature-based ones, have a huge impact on increasing mental health and reducing stress.
According to the National Library of Medicine, nature-based interventions for mental and physical health among community-based adult populations improve mental health outcomes for those with common mental health problems, SMI, and long-term conditions. Spending time “forest baiting”, group gardening, and exercising in greenspaces enhanced both physical and mental health among adults. Outdoor activities can reduce stress and anxiety, improve well-being, enhance cognitive function, and lead to better sleep quality.
Various activities can be performed outdoors that contribute to mental health. Below some of the most popular ones are covered and tips and tricks on how to get started are explained.
Gardening: Gardening can reduce stress by allowing individuals to focus on nurturing plants and being present at the moment. It enhances mindfulness and allows individuals to concentrate on the sensory experiences of planting, weeding, and harvesting. This can lead to improved mood and connection with nature. If you’re new to gardening, begin with a few potted plants or a small garden to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Learning and researching as well as making it a regular habit weekly will allow for the successful creation of a garden over time.
Bird Watching: Observing birds in their natural habitats can be a calming and meditative experience that reduces stress and anxiety. Bird watching increases mindfulness, appreciation of nature, and social connection with others. To get started bird watching, it is best to obtain a field guide and binoculars and choose a suitable location where one can be patient and quiet. The act of being quiet and listening to nature while bird watching will increase the mental health benefits even more.
Outdoor Yoga: Performing yoga in nature can lead to stress reduction as it allows individuals to connect with nature. Outdoor yoga enhances the mind-body connection, promoting self-awareness and emotional well-being. The combination of yoga and nature also boosts mood and brings on a sense of tranquility. The quiet sounds of nature also promote relaxation which reduces stress. To start with outdoor yoga, first, choose a suitable location that is quiet and peaceful with enough space. Ensure the weather forecast is beneficial and always use a mat or towel on rough terrain to create a comfortable surface. Start with poses for beginners and gradually add in more challenging poses as your ability improves.
Nature Walks: Nature walks may be the easiest and quickest outdoor activity to pick up that can increase mental health. Nature walks can lower cortisol levels and reduce stress, promoting a sense of calm and relaxation. Walking in nature can also improve focus, attention, and cognitive function as it eliminates distractions. This leads to mood elevation and is increased by being surrounded by greenery and fresh air. Walking in nature is very easy to begin and should be started with short walks on nearby trails. Always choose comfortable footwear and don’t forget water or snacks!
The Role of Pürblack
Pürblack is a resource that may contribute to your overall health and well-being. Shilajit Made by Pürblack is an ancient mineral pitch that is believed to have antioxidant properties, anti-inflammatory benefits, and may contribute to gut health and energy levels. However, these benefits are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. It is also believed to help ease symptoms of chronic fatigue, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve sleep patterns, but these claims are based on individual experiences and are not universally applicable.
When starting a new health routine, it is always essential to ensure you have all the resources and information you need to get started. Pürblack provides guides on the usages, dosages, and how, when, and why of using Shilajit. Along with detailed articles, Pürblack’s website includes an FAQ page and blog that provides additional information.
Pürblack has an impressive 4.9 / 5.0 rating on Trustpilot.com with over 663 reviews. The testimonials from customers are individual experiences and may not reflect the experiences of all users:
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Outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, swimming, and running can promote cardiovascular fitness, strengthen muscles, and enhance coordination. Spending time outdoors also allows for sun exposure which can increase bone health, immune function, and mental well-being. The power of nature to soothe the mind and reduce stress is also remarkable.
As you embark on a journey to better physical and mental health, consider exploring the potential benefits of Shilajit from Pürblack. This mineral pitch resin is believed to have numerous health benefits that may boost efforts towards a healthier lifestyle. However, these benefits are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. For more information on Shilajit usage, dosages, and benefits, visit Pürblack’s website.
Letting nature be your ally in your pursuit of physical and mental well-being can change your life. Immerse yourself in outdoor activities and consider the support of Pürblack’s natural supplements to unlock the full potential of a balanced and revitalized life. Your journey to better health is just a foot out the door, so step outside, explore, and thrive in the beauty of the great outdoors.
Please note that while Pürblack is committed to providing high-quality products, the effects of these products may vary from person to person and are not guaranteed. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new health routine or supplement.
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- Lopez, R. P., & Hynes, H. P. (2006). Obesity, physical activity, and the urban environment: Public health research needs. Environmental Health Perspectives, 114(12), 1789-1796. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.10102
- Medical News Today. (n.d.). What is health? What does good health mean? Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/150999#:~:text=A%20person%20who%20has%20good,all%20contribute%20to%20good%20health.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). (n.d.). Benefits of spending time outdoors on physical activity levels and chronic disease risk. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10002259/
- National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). (n.d.). The wellness benefits of the great outdoors. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7913501/
- National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). (n.d.). The positive impact of spending time outdoors on physical activity levels and chronic disease risk. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8498096/
- Trustpilot. (n.d.). Pürblack customer reviews. Retrieved from https://www.trustpilot.com/review/purblack.com
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service. (n.d.). The wellness benefits of the great outdoors. Retrieved from https://www.fs.usda.gov/features/wellness-benefits-great-outdoors