The therapeutic benefits of spending time outside

As summer time is finally here (although it’s been questionable at times!), we wanted to take some time to talk about the benefits of spending time outdoors. 

It’s been proven that spending time outside can be beneficial for both mental and physical health, no matter your age. It doesn’t need to be hours and hours of outdoor activity either, a study conducted in 2019* showed just 120 minutes a week in nature can improve health and wellbeing. According to that same study, it doesn’t need to be a two-hour block either and outdoor time can be spread across the week.

Here at Crouched Friars, we try and take advantage of clear weather to get our residents out and enjoying the elements. 

Physical benefits of getting outdoors

Being outside, and especially in greener spaces can have several benefits on our physical health, including:

  • Better breathing – Spending time in fresh air can help prevent the risk of respiratory disease as the concentration of air pollutants is far lower outside than in
  • Improved sleep – Sunlight can help promote a healthy circadian rhythm, improving sleep quality
  • Greater immunity – Sunlight is the hero here again, providing the body with vitamin D helping it to absorb certain minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, contributing to a healthy immune system

Other benefits of spending time outdoors

In addition to physical benefits, spending time outdoors can help reduce stress and anxiety in residents. Connecting with the outdoors and nature can help to promote mindfulness and help to reduce mental fatigue.

It’s thought that spending time outside can help to improve mood and particularly so for those who may associate being outside with many positive memories of growing up and being out and about.

Depending on where people choose to spend their time outdoors, it could also provide the opportunity for social interactions and even help individuals increase their physical activity, improving things like stamina and balance.

How we ensure that residents can have a safe and enjoyable time outdoors

All staff at Crouched Friars understand the importance of residents having the opportunity to get outside should they want to. We’re committed to helping residents feel empowered should they want to get outside, and we do this by:

  • Creating safe and accessible outdoor spaces free of hazards
  • Offering a variety of outdoor activities, from walking to gardening to simply offering the opportunity to have a cup of tea and slice of cake outside. 
  • Getting residents out and about on day trips
  • Hosting  parties and get-togethers in our wonderful garden so our residents can spend time with their families and have a great time 
  • Considering the needs and preferences of all residents, we’ll never push a resident into something they don’t need comfortable doing
  • Being flexible and able to adapt to the unexpected such as weather changes

We hope that our efforts can help residents enjoy the outdoors securely and give them the opportunity to connect with not just nature, but each other in a way that helps improve their physical, mental and emotional health.

If you are interested in finding out more about Crouched Friars Residential Home, our friendly team are happy to chat. Call 01206 572647 or fill out our contact form to find out more.

*source

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