Getting Outside May Be the Key to Boosting Your Physical and Psychological Well-being

A recent study published in Scientific Reports revealed that spending 120 minutes a week outdoors can improve your health and psychological well-being. Remember, well-being refers to feeling good and living both safely and healthily. And, the concept of well-being can have implications on your overall quality of life, health and happiness.

What are the benefits of spending time outside?

Exercising in nature has been proven to improve one’s mental and physical health. Being outside also helps to promote higher vitamin D levels, a vitamin the body makes when skin is directly exposed to the sun. Many people are deficient in vitamin D, so exercising outside can be a great way to correct that.

In addition, outdoor activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, boost immunity and lower stress. Exercising outside can feel less routine than working out in a gym.

What counts as spending time outdoors?

Visiting town parks, greenspaces, woodlands and beaches all count as spending time outdoors. Here are two simple activities that you can do outside:

  1. Walking or hiking—Hiking and walking have been proven to improve heart health and can help you maintain a healthy waistline.
  2. Riding your bike—Riding a bike helps improve balance and endurance, and it’s an exercise that’s easy on your joints.

Be Prepared

Before you head outside and start improving your health today, you need to make sure that you’re properly prepared. This means that you should pack water, first-aid supplies, sun protection and, if you’re spending a significant amount of time outside, a healthy snack to help you refuel.

A Handy Guide to Portion Control

A serving of protein should be the size of the palm of your hand.

A serving of carbs should be the size of your fist.

A serving of vegetables should be the size of an open hand.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Total Calories 290
Total Fat 15 g
Protein 19 g
Carbohydrates 19 g
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Saturated Fat 5 g
Sodium 540 mg
Total Sugars 4 g

Source: USDA

Potato and Ham Skillet With Eggs


  • 2 potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 onions (small, chopped)
  • 1 green pepper (chopped)
  • 6 eggs (beaten)
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 6 ounces frozen ham (thawed and chopped, about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese (shredded)


  1. In a medium-size skillet, cook potatoes in oil over medium heat until just soft, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in onion, green peppers and ham, and cook 5 minutes.
  3. Pour eggs and black pepper over potato mixture in pan, and sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until eggs are firm and cheese is melted.

Makes: 6 servings

For more information and helpful links, please download our September 2019 Live Well, Work Well Newsletter.

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This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Readers should contact a health professional for appropriate advice.