5 Ways an Outdoor Lifestyle Can Benefit Your Health

By Debbie Hanson

Jun 26, 2023

List of ways an outdoor lifestyle benefits your health. Learn how spending time outdoors can boost your psychological, physiological health for the better

How can an outdoor lifestyle help you rejuvenate your mind and body? Learn about five specific ways that an outdoor lifestyle can benefit your health from both a psychological and physiological standpoint.

1. When you spend time outdoors in green spaces, you are taking a big step toward a healthier lifestyle. In fact, time spent outdoors can increase life expectancy and improve sleep quality. This means outdoor activities like camping, backpacking, and hunting can contribute to greater longevity.

2. Studies show that an outdoor lifestyle is relaxing, reducing our stress levels, cortisol levels, muscle tension and heart rates – which also lowers risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Think about how calming it can be to watch a sunset, listen to waves gently lapping up against a shoreline, or fall asleep to the sound of crickets chirping as you camp beneath the stars.

3. The outdoors serves as a venue to come together with friends and family to make lasting memories. According to the American Psychological Association, social connection is a major component of mental health. Nature gives you the space to go on rock climbing adventures with friends, cast out a fishing line with your kids, or plan a mountain biking trip with work colleagues.

4. People who live a nature lifestyle in the outdoors have a lower risk of depression and faster psychological stress recovery. For example, conclusive results from studies indicate that contact with forest environments provide positive psychological effects on human health.

5. Green environments (such as forests) improve both self-esteem and mood, but when the presence of water is added, even more positive effects are generated. This means that activities like fishing, kayaking, and canoeing are ideal for majorly boosting your mood when you might be feeling down.

Considering the ways an outdoor lifestyle can benefit your psychological and physiological health, it’s truly a smart decision to stress less and spend more time immersed in nature.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.