Health & Fitness,  Mindfulness

Here’s Why You Should Be Spending More Time Outdoors

It didn’t take too long after I began spending time outdoors, that I noticed my mood and mental health improving. I never imagined that spending more time outdoors, surrounded by nature’s green spaces would be one of the fastest ways to improve my health and happiness. I decided after a year of feeling down in the dumps that I’d give it a try shortly after coming across a magazine that went on and on about the health perks. Take a walk? What has that got to do with anything, I  asked.

Now physicians are finding that just being out in nature can lower the risk of developing certain psychiatric disorders- findings which they are starting to take seriously and relay to their patients. Not only that but being in green spaces has been shown to lower stress, blood pressure, and heart rate.

So the next time you’re feeling down in the dumps, a “nature” therapy session might be the medicine you need. It appears that spending as little time as possible outside can provide just as many benefits. Like 20 minutes at a park, whether you choose to exercise there or not, is enough to improve well-being.


According to a study published in 2019 in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research, adults who were given fitness trackers and measured while out at a park showed improvement in their subjective well-being. Research suggests that exercise is great for mental health, particularly when done outside. But for many people in the study, exercise, and physical activity were not necessary to increase their well-being, the study authors found. Simply being in the green space seemed enough to spark a change within them.

I go to the park most times just to enjoy nature. I don’t see the need to be rigorous in terms of exercise. When I’m there, I can relax and reduce stress, and this makes me feel more happier with myself and life in general.


Last summer, I provided some care to my aunt who had been diagnosed with liver cancer. One of the ways I helped her come to terms with the terminal illness was by spending more time outdoors with her. The green space gave her a place to reap some mental health benefits. She absolutely marveled at the beauty of nature that surrounded her. The gentle breeze gliding across her skin, the rays of sunlight basking on top her as she breathed in air. I observed her as she sat admiring the swift movements and ruffling of the tree leaves. Feelings like this– the fresh air of a local park – can only be redeemable outdoors.

Whether one considers themselves sick or healthy, it’s about making a positive choice in your life, and supporting yourself, rather than punishing yourself. Nowadays, with social media and Instagram, it’s easy to want to go too, when you see your friends going out to these beautiful places.


Medical professionals know that one hour of playing tennis or exploring a soccer field near one’s home are natural therapies that can be prescribed to patients and recorded in their electronic health records. There’s a mindset transformation happening. A shift in the way we think about parks, not just as a place to recreate but literally as a prescription and a place to improve one’s health.


Go outside and take advantage of nature’s free medicine. Consider it a powerful health prevention strategy. Go green.

Did you enjoy this blog post? Leave a comment below. 

**Erica weaves themes of transformative hope and grace-filled leadership into everything she shares on her blog. She’s an author, a speaker, and a life coach, who offers honest encouragement and road-tested wisdom about topics ranging from leadership and lifestyle, to discovering your God-crafted identity, design, and purpose.

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