Fairfield HR

Care for some Fresh Air?

“Get some fresh air”: idiom meaning.
To have a walk outside/outdoors and breathe some clean air. You can use this expression for
example when you are tired, panicked or stressed and you need to take a walk to relax.
We all know the expression well. We all crave “fresh air” from time to time. But let’s apply the
science to one of the simplest self-help acts we can undertake.

1. Fresh air chemically boosts your mood!
Simply spending a little time outdoors helps to boost your mood and helps to de-stress and whittle
away your anxieties. Fresh air helps to raise oxygen levels in your brain, which subsequently
increases serotonin levels. Serotonin is the good stuff that alters your mood and outlook for the
better! Having a little walk outside is a great way to get your lungs working a bit more to help get
some much-loved oxygen coursing through our body.

2. Increased physical activity
Whether it’s a quick walk, a longer hike, or even something as simple as gardening (disclaimer: I’m
absolutely terrible at keeping plants alive, so gardening is definitely not simple!), there are many
ways you can increase your exercise by opening the door and stepping into nature. Exercise or
physical activity releases endorphins, a hormone which by design reduces pain and stress and in
turn… yep… boosts your mood!

3. Stress relief
These top 3 are all linked… so you’re essentially getting 3 for the price of 1 on mood boostage! Fresh
air and exercise (and by consequence breathing) are all effective ways of reducing cortisol, our stress
hormone. When we’re stressed, our cortisol or “fight or flight” hormone starts to increase to help us
“take action” and deal with our stressors… However, this is not always helpful in slow-burn
work/life situations where it’s built up over time. Therefore, we can all do with a healthy way of
dispersing our cortisol to help us calm down our “primitive brain” and bring us back to our “thinking
brain”, and therefore reducing our stress. I’m getting a bit deep with the psychology now, but it’s

4. Vitamin D
Our bodies need sunlight to produce vitamin D in our systems. Vitamin D regulates calcium and
phosphate in the body, and this keeps our bones, teeth and muscles healthy, as well as keeping our
immune system in good shape! Simply being in the sun between 5 and 15 minutes, 2-3 times a week,
will help you get the vitamin D your body needs. More difficult in winter, and this is a factor is some
people suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), so perhaps look into vitamin supplements
for the darker months.

5. Sleeeeep!
Being outdoors helps our sleep cycle. The body has it’s own internal clock known as the Circadian
Rhythm. Time spent outside during natural daylight is great for regulating our internal clocks and
helps teach it when we need to be awake… and consequently when we need to sleep as things get
darker which leads to deeper, longer and therefore better quality sleep, and we ALL know how good
sleep is for everything physical and mental!

So, there it is! 5 reasons why it’s worth spending even just 15 – 30 minutes of your day outside,
breathing in that FREE stress-relieving goodness! Enjoy!

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