Why Get Outdoors?

I spend too much time indoors as a work from home employee in my day job, part time online college student, and blogger in my spare time. I leave my house maybe once or twice a week to go grocery shopping and maybe out to the bar or dinner to socialize. I definitely do not go outside as much as I should. And thusly, I’ve started feeling like a rat in a cage and the very opposite of clearheaded. But when I get out onto a hike or adventure, I feel a such a rush of freedom and mental refreshment it’s incomparable. But what does this mean for you? Why should YOU even consider braving the rain and the mud and the snow?

Science says to get the hell outside. According the scholarly article published in 2013, “What Are the Benefits of Interacting with Nature?” interaction with nature benefits you mental wellbeing in many ways. It increases self-esteem and mood, lowers anger, and provides a profound improvement on emotions and behavior. It also is written to reduce stress, builds social interaction in gardening, and reduces crime and violence in urban areas. But what about the inner college student or the employee that benefits from a sharp brain?

As a college student, I know anything that helps me with school is my new drug of choice. The 2013 article provide studies that show nature’s positive effects on academic performance and cognitive functions. That’s that thinkin’ stuff you like to do with clarify. A 2008 study tested the idea that because nature draws our attention modestly, verses urban’s not so polite methods, we can recharge our focus while in nature. It clearly proves that better cognitive ability is shown after interacting with nature than in urban areas.


Despite my own indoor proclivities, after reading these articles I have set the goal to hike once a month and walk my dog in my local park three times a week. It might take up hours of my day and take me away from my blog for a bit, but can you only imagine how much more you could do if your brain didn’t feel frazzled and overworked?


Now that you’ve know how to jump start your brain, where will you go?

Sources Keniger, Lucy E. et al. “What Are the Benefits of Interacting with Nature?” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 10.3 (2013): 913–935. PMC. Web. 15 Feb. 2017.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3709294/ Berman, Marc G., John Jonides, and Stephen Kaplan. "The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting With Nature." Psychological Science. N.p., 1 Dec. 2008. Web. 15 Feb. 2017. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/5cef/86418e03740fc1a77eff6ba0b10541a2e223.pdf


My name is Mercae Benge, I'm the travel writer behind Upper Left Culture. I write about adventure travel, am a journalism major in college, and am dog mom to a golden retriever Zenith.




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