We used to spend 100% of our time outdoors, now we spend 90% of our time indoors, and it is contributing to our lack of health and growing number of diseases.
‘Geomedicine’ explores the different areas of the outside environment and it’s effect on your body. The moon, the sun, the ocean, the soil and the trees…nature has everything worked out, and it has been this way for thousands of years. So, we need to continue to be in align with nature, trust it and stop trying to resist its powerful ways.
You and me both can admit that we feel an almost immediate sense of calm when we set a foot on the beach with no shoes on. Energy, happiness and clarity is enhanced. I am blessed that I walk on the beach daily and go for a swim, bush walks and camping as often as I can.
For many years I have known the benefits of being out in nature. However, I realised just how critical it was when I recently traveled to Japan and did not get the chance to connect with any form of nature for almost a week. Both my partner and I felt strangely down, fatigued and had a low immune system. We craved the connection with nature that we’re so blessed with back at home.
How Being Outside Can Enhance Your Health
What is the science behind this? Here are some ways being outside can enhance your health, and be an essential addition to your medicine ‘cabinet’.
- You expose yourself to more iodine. It’s been shown that iodine deficiencies are more likely to be present in those that are far from the ocean. There is also some selenium in the ocean, which species thrive on, and your skin is likely to absorb that as well when you are swimming and walking along the beach. Iodine and selenium work hand in hand for a healthy functioning thyroid, balanced mood, enhanced immune system, increased energy and more.
- You can increase your magnesium levels by immersing yourself in the ocean and rivers, and likely by simply walking on the beach and some parts of the Earth’s surface. In Japan, they have regular Onsens which are ‘nature baths’ rich in minerals like magnesium and they are believed to be exceptionally healing. The Dead Sea is one of the richest sources of minerals and has been known since biblical times for its healing properties and ability to alleviate symptoms and disease.
- You top up your vitamin D levels by being outside. Vitamin D deficiency is far too common, however, with 1 in 4 Australians being deficient. Vitamin D is absolutely critical for the prevention of autoimmune diseases and can actually alleviate symptoms of some autoimmune diseases. It also enhances your immune system, contributes to healing leaky gut and other digestive issues and more.
- You will reap the benefits of ‘Earthing’ or ‘Grounding’. There is mounting evidence suggesting there are benefits to getting your shoes off and simply walking on the ground. The Earth’s surface has a negative potential which can create ‘a stable internal bioelectrical environment for the normal functioning of all body systems’. Research has shown that it can have an antioxidant effect and therefore reduces oxidative damage, inflammation and cortisol levels (therefore reducing stress). It can also reset the internal body clock (known as circadian rhythm) which can assist with energy through the day and a better night’s sleep. Grounding can also help to reduce non-communicable and degenerative illnesses.
- You will increase the diversity of your microbiome and therefore enhance your immune system. By being outside, you are exposing yourself to the abundance of varying microbes that contribute to the diversity of your gut microbiome, which is essential for health. The health of the soil we surround ourselves with has a profound impact on our microbiome, whether we consume the food from it and/or surround ourselves by it.
So, in short, getting dirty, sandy and immersing yourself in nature’s water is an incredible thing to do for your health.
Have you had experiences like I had in Japan? Are you a firm believer in the healing powers of nature? Please let us know in the comments below!