Being outside is scientifically proven to improve both your physical and mental health. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park provides many opportunities to explore the outdoors and elevate your health. Get outside and experience the benefits from a change of scenery for yourself! Here are 5 benefits of getting outdoors in the Smokies that boost your mood:
1. Soaking Up the Sun Elevates Vitamin D
In a recent study, it was discovered that over 40% of U.S. men and women are vitamin D deficient. Regular sun exposure is the best source of vitamin D and spending time outside is shown to fulfill those vitamin needs. It is recommended to get outside at least once a day to ensure you’re getting your suggested amount of vitamin D. Going on a walk or run is a great way to boost your mood and obtain those needed vitamins.
2. Going Outdoors May Lower Blood Pressure
Not only does the sun provide much needed vitamins, but it can also lower your blood pressure. In scientific terms, nitric oxide in skin responds to sun’s rays by widening blood vessels, lowering blood pressure. While those with a normal pressure may not notice a massive drop, others with higher pressure have reported a significant change. Getting outdoors in the Smokies is a great way to lower your blood pressure and enjoy a relaxing day.
3. Being Outside Can Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation can be caused by being stagnant for too long, but studies have shown that spending time in green spaces can reduce inflammation and improve health as a whole. Inflammation affects people of all ages, so getting outside is essential and recommended for everyone. In a study, there was a significant difference in inflammation from those who spent frequent time outside and those who spent more time indoors.
4. Outdoor Time Improves Sleep
Having a hard time falling asleep at night? Trying scheduling time to get outside during your daily routine. According to Stanford Medicine, getting outside can not only increase the quantity of sleep, but also the quality. Spending time outdoors helps regulate the circadian rhythm, also known as the sleep-wake cycle. It can also help regulate body temperature. While taking in scenic nature improves sleep for all ages, the most benefits are shown for men over 65.
5. Nature Relieves Stress and Anxiety
If the winter blues have you feeling down, make time to get outside as soon as those temperatures start to rise. Studies have shown that getting outside regularly reduces the stress hormone cortisol, causing you to feel more relaxed and calm. While cortisol isn’t necessarily a bad hormone, increased levels of it have been linked to health problems. Spending time in nature is a great way to maintain a healthy level of the hormone.
Things to do Outside
One way we recommend getting outside and boosting your mood is by joining one of our white water rafting trips! The sunshine, scenic views, and exciting river rapids combine for an awesome day spent in nature, improving both your mental and physical health. There are rafting trips for all age groups so that everyone can partake in this outdoor activity.
Spend time outdoors and enjoy all the benefits of getting outdoors in the Smokies with us! Book your rafting trip today and make memories that you’ll carry with you for a lifetime! We look forward to seeing you!