Health and Wellness Benefits of the Outdoors

As park enthusiasts, we know that heading outdoors means more than just getting some exercise or a way to spend the afternoon, it is a key component of our health and overall well-being. We understand that spending time in nature makes us feel better, both physically and mentally.  

Whether it’s hiking, biking, kayaking, or even camping, let’s break down the top five wellness benefits of spending time in our 75 Ohio State Parks. 

  1. Exercise 

Let’s be real. It can be a challenge to find the motivation to get your daily exercise in. Finding the most cost-effective gym membership or that perfectly serene bike trail can be a pain to deal with. Luckily, Ohio State Parks are free and open to countless hiking and biking trails, kayak launches, playgrounds, and wide-open nature to explore. Getting outside in our beautiful state parks offers all the motivation you need to meet your fitness goals. 

  1. Vitamin D and Immunity Building 

Vitamin D is an essential source of fuel for our bodies. Our bodies need sunlight to create Vitamin D, which benefits our bones, blood cells, and immune system. It also helps absorb needed minerals such as calcium. Just 10-15 minutes of sunlight twice a week is enough vitamin D to sustain your body, with more needed in the somewhat drearier winter months. Sunlight also helps stimulate T cells which work to fight off infections. 

  1. Stress and Anxiety Reduction 

Spending time in nature is heavily linked to an increase in overall happiness, as well as a decrease in stress levels. Sunlight works to keep your serotonin levels up, which raises your energy and levels your mood. Time in nature can also improve one’s self-esteem and give one a boost of confidence. 

  1. Sleep Improvement 

We all know how important a good night’s rest is to how we feel. The good news is that time spent outside helps set your sleep cycle so you can get more restful sleep. Did you know that early morning sunlight helps people get to sleep easier at night? #Getoutside and then get some well-deserved rest!  

  1. Creative Boost 

Whether you are struggling with writer’s block or need time to think through solving a problem, getting outside is a fantastic way to solve these creative roadblocks. Nature engages your attention in a quiet way which enables you to have a stronger focus. 

Ohio State Parks have so much to offer to our overall health and wellness, which is why we are so lucky and proud that they remain free to all. OSPF works to increase these benefits to include everyone while supporting the sustainability and preservation of our parks. Join our membership program to learn how you can help support our mission.