Getting outdoors and enjoying the fresh air doesn’t just make you healthier. It could also boost your IQ and may even make you more attractive.
That feeling you get when you’re out in nature – the sun on your skin and fresh air in your lungs – does more for your health than you may think. Getting into the natural landscapes of the great outdoors (and away from technology) is actually an essential component in maintaining overall health and wellbeing. Let’s find out why.
IT MAKES US HEALTHIER
Getting outside, even just for a walk around the block, does wonders for our health. Studies have shown that exercising in nature can improve blood pressure, give you more energy, reduce stress, increase feelings of wellbeing, and provide the motivation to do more outdoor activity.
But you don’t need to engage in strenuous activity to reap the benefits of the great outdoors. The Japanese have been practicing shinrin-yoku – or forest bathing – for years. Research suggests that simply sitting still and breathing in the natural aromatherapy of the forest (or whatever green space you find yourself in) is enough to calm your mind and encourage feelings of relaxation, and may even fight depression and prevent cancer.
IT MAKES US SMARTER
When we step outside our comfort zone, we’re opening our minds to new possibilities and experiences. Doing things we’re not used to – like boiling water for a cup of tea over a fire rather than popping on the kettle, or navigating a fallen tree on a hiking trail – kicks us out of that monotonous, ‘daily grind’ mindset, and into a different way of thinking.
And when we’re in new surroundings, whether hiking a mountain trail or wild swimming in an isolated lake, our brains work differently. They’re more attuned to problem solving, creating thinking, and ultimately, making better decisions.
But perhaps the wildest fact about how the great outdoors makes us smarter is that our brains actually get bigger. Studies have shown that hiking and walking may cause the hippocampus to grow, leading to better memory and a sharper mind.
IT MAKES US MORE ATTRACTIVE (REALLY)
One dating site found that 85% of singles agreed that a sense of adventure in a potential partner was appealing. Similarly, a poll by Intrepid Travel for RSVP.com discovered that singles who listed their interests as ‘travel’ were deemed ‘attractive’ by potential matches, while those who claimed to be ‘adventure seekers’ stepped things up a notch into the realm of ‘extremely’ attractive.
Figures aside, think about the stories you get from an outdoors adventure, like the time a wombat got into your tent, chewed through your hiking socks and ate all your food. A good story, told well, connects you to others, and your daring escapades may help you stand out in a sea of less-adventurous singles.
This article was prepared by AIA and is current as at 19 March 2021. The information in this blog post is general advice and does not consider your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the advice is suitable for you and your personal circumstances. Before you make any decision about whether to acquire a certain product, you should obtain and read the relevant product disclosure statement. Should you have any questions please contact us on 02 9232 6800.