We all know about the benefits of exercising outdoors. But did you know that lazing in the garden with a good book can also be good for you? According to a variety of research, relaxing and unwinding outdoors is a great way to stay happy and healthy.

Lazing in the garden

Just being outside is proven to increase alertness and relieve fatigue. Spending time in nature has also been shown to lower stress levels and lift our mood. The smell of certain flowers, including jasmine and roses, have been proven to increase relaxation while the scent of fresh pine has even been shown to lower depression and anxiety.

Breathing lungs full of fresh air is great for our respiratory system, getting the oxygen flowing and boosting our cells while soaking up some sun helps our body create Vitamin D which is good for our bones, immune system and nervous system.

Being outside can even help you heal faster.  In one study, people recovering from spinal surgery experienced less pain and stress and took less pain medication when they were exposed to natural light.

Spending time outdoors is also a recommended treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is sometimes called “winter depression.” Outdoor light exposure may help your mood even if it’s cold and cloudy. It can also help you restore your concentration. One study found that people's mental energy bounced back even when they just looked at pictures of nature.