Florence Nightingale, whilst nursing soldiers during the Crimean War, noticed that fresh air was beneficial to the patients she looked after. In a letter in 1860 to the social reformer, Edwin Chadwick, she emphasised this when she wrote: “... the treatment being the open air during the greater part of the day.”
She had noticed that more of her patients had died of infectious diseases than of their wounds and that the remedy was better ventilation and fresh air – her proposals effectively became the foundation of modern nursing.
Good for the Lungs
Being cooped up indoors is not good for the lungs. Air outdoors contains higher levels of oxygen, which helps to dilate blood vessels in the lungs, promoting tissue and cell repair, which in turn allows them to better cleanse themselves.
Vitamin D Levels
When the skin is exposed to sunlight, the body makes vitamin D. Higher levels of vitamin D are associated with better immunity and improvements in mood, as well as a lower risk of developing mental health disorders. The sunshine vitamin is good for the heart, circulation and for keeping bones healthy.
Mental Clarity and Concentration
Outdoor green spaces can help with focus and brain fog. It’s thought that a walk in nature can improve attention and memory by as much as 20%! Good to remember this, when life is taken over by mountains of revision.
Those who regularly get outdoors could have stronger immune systems because their white blood cells appear to be healthier.
Green exercise, as it’s been named by researchers, is thought to improve mood, resulting in more smiles and laughter, and is generally good at cheering people up. Additionally, it helps people relax (lowers cortisol levels) and it’s thought to help raise self-esteem.