Why Should I Go Outside?

Forest background with grey wooden planks in the background.  On the left there is a teen girl with mid-length black, curly hair. She is wearing a black tshirt with a blue denim jean jacket, has glasses.  She looks very confused, and has both her hands out in a confused position.  Above and behind the teen girl, "Should" is written in large letters.  On the right, "I go outside?" is written, with two lines underlining below.

In this BIT: Do you ever ask yourself, “should I go outside?”, and why? Below, we break down the benefits of sun, things to do outside, and how being outdoors brings you a small bit of happiness – all backed by science.

As teenagers we have busy lives and we’re tired.  Between school, chores, extracurriculars, studying, family life, and friends our days are hectic! However, despite our busy lives, getting time to go outdoors is something we should all prioritize. We know what you’re thinking, “I’m already busy as is, why would I prioritize going outdoors?”, but in this BIT we break down why you should go outside, and how you can incorporate it into your daily routine.

Going outdoors is important because it helps in countless areas of our lives. Not only does going outside make us feel happier, but it also relieves stress, strengthens our immune system, improves vision, boosts memory, and so much more.  

So, how?

How exactly does going outside help with all these things? Take a look at this:

Relieves stress → Being outside reduces the release of stress hormones (cortisol) and lowers heart rate.

Strengthens immune system → The outdoors gives us a boost of Vitamin D and an energization of T-cells (which fight infection) comes from sunlight. Additionally, plants release phytoncides into the air.

Improves Vision → Dim indoor light increases chances of near-sightedness and makes it difficult to focus on an image. Being outdoors exposes us to the benefits of sun, making vision much easier for our eyes.

Boosts Memory → The outdoors calms our brain, making it easier for us to recall and process recently learned information.

Going outdoors also makes us feel happier, as it increases the release of happiness hormones (serotonin) in our brain!  Going outdoors provides countless benefits. But, how can we fit it into our daily routine? 

Try This:

The easiest way to get the benefits of being outside is to transfer elements of your daily routine to the outdoors. For example, FaceTime your friends on your patio. Read in your backyard or at a local park (and check-out our Reading List). Do schoolwork or study outside. Eat lunch on your balcony, or in the field at school. Set-up dinner for your family in your backyard.

Alternatively, make plans to spend time outside with your friends or family! Go for a walk to get snacks together. Take a day trip to a theme park or to the beach/lake, a local park, or the mountains. Visit a Farmers Market and browse local small businesses and fresh fruits and veggies. Help your parents BBQ outside. Go on a bike ride, or play an outdoor sport.  

A family having food at a picnic table, outdoors.  On the left, a dad with brown hair and grey-tshirt is smiling, and taking a carrot.  In the middle, a teen girl wearing a pink and white t-shirt with brown ,curly hair in two buns, is eating celery, and on the right, a woman wearing a blue t-shirt is holding the vegetable platter.  Above, "Eat Outside" is written.

We hope that you take some time to go outside today, and get a small bit of happiness by enjoying the outdoors.


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For more happiness check out our Mood Boost page.

Featuring quick videos created for teens by teens.





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