We all feel better when we spend time outdoors. Whether it’s al fresco dining, lazing by the pool, or reading a book in an outdoor room, there’s something about it that makes us think all is right with the world. Content. Relaxed. Stress free. These are a few of the words we commonly use to describe how we feel when we’re relaxing outside, and the feeling is certainly different to what we experience when we’re inside. Both physically and mentally, outdoor living seems to suit us better and there’s a growing body of scientific evidence to explain why this is.
Research suggests that there are six major benefits of getting fresh air. This would go a long way to understanding why we feel so much better when we’re doing things outside of the usual four walls. Those benefits are:
- Fresh air is good for your digestive system. Fresh air increases the flow of oxygen which helps you digest food more effectively and feel more comfortable after an al fresco meal.
- Fresh air helps to lower your blood pressure and heart rate. This goes a long way to explaining that relaxed and laid back feeling we enjoy when we’re outside.
- Fresh air makes you happy. The more fresh air you inhale, the more oxygen you breathe in. Oxygen increases the amount of serotonin, otherwise known as the “happy hormone” which puts you in a good mood.
- Fresh air boosts your immune system. Increased exposure to fresh air and the oxygen that comes with it white blood cells function properly by fighting and killing bacteria and germs.
- Fresh air cleans your lungs. Our lungs suffer in modern, polluted environments so time spent in the fresh air has a great cleansing effect. Lungs dilate at an expanded rate after an increase of oxygen, and this optimises the efficiency of the cleaning process. We release airborne toxins from our body when exhaling through the lungs, so the cleaner they are the better they can carry out this vital function.
- Fresh air gives you more energy. Ever noticed how that morning walk sets you up for the day and allows you to start your daily tasks full of vigour and focus? That’s because that early intake of oxygen gives you more energy, and also results in improved brain function and concentration.
The scientific evidence is clear on the benefits of fresh air, but it’s not just academics who espouse the advantages of spending more time outdoors. This Australian company specialises in the installation of retractable roofs, outdoor blinds, louvre shutters and other products designed to help us enjoy outdoor living year-round. They report that their clients often get back to them to state just how good they feel since they’ve started spending more time in their outdoor rooms. It seems that the fresh air they enjoy thanks to that bright and airy louvre roof patio combination is just what the doctor ordered.