Recent studies show how important feeling part of nature is to our physical and mental health. I have personally found this to be quite true and think that a connection with nature makes us healthier and happier people. I always feel better or rejuvenated after spending some time out in nature.

Here are my top 5 reasons why nature is good for you.

( All of these photos were taken on a recent trip I went on to the Cape Point Nature Reserve. It is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa.)

Cape Point Nature Reserve

Out in Nature at Cape Point Nature Reserve

1. Sunny Skies = Vitamin D, which Helps Your Body Function More Efficiently

While working sometimes a day or two passes without us actually stepping a foot outside. I try to work in a morning walk into my daily routine, to get some fresh air and hopefully some much needed sun. Vitamin D is crucial to humans, helping to prevent disease and infection and improving bone health. It can also elevate mood and reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more. Vitamin D also improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure by literally relaxing your blood vessels. And all we need to do to get more of this vitamin is to spend a bit more time out in the sun.

2. Natural Light Normalizes Your Sleep Schedule

Did you know that getting a good dose of sunlight can also help you feel refreshed and relaxed by helping regulate your body’s melatonin production? This is because the sunlight helps regulate Melatonin, a hormone that controls your body’s internal clock (basically, it makes you sleepy). I find that I have trouble falling asleep and suffer from insomnia if I don’t get enough sunlight for prolonged periods of time. Sunlight, especially in the morning, helps regulate your internal biological clock, making it much easier for you to get a good night’s sleep—and wake feeling rejuvenated.

3. Nature Changes Your Brain – For the Better

We all spend more time staring at the bluish glare of our laptop screens than we do appreciating a good sunrise. Spending time in nature is great for concentration, mood, and offers a general mental boost. Just strolling around outside doesn’t really require any elaborate thinking or action, which is great for your mind.

I find the sound of the ocean often puts me in a relaxed and meditative state. A walk in nature, produces calming and beneficial results for our brains making it easier to think clearly and concentrate on tasks.

Cape Point Nature Reserve

Cape Point is one of the country’s most popular tourist sites

4: Get some exercise. Become a Fitter, Healthier You

I’m a firm believer in the idea that nature is good for one’s health. Being out in nature often involves some form of physical activity, whether it be strolling through the park, biking through the mountains, or an exciting river raft ride. This activity both improves physical fitness and our overall health

While I’m out in nature, I usually notice a mixture of people, ranging from relaxed strollers to those who are hoping to burn calories or get fit. I think that’s one of the most beautiful things about nature—all the different ways that you can use it while you enjoy some beautiful scenery along the way.

5. Happiness!!

Let’s face it, being in nature just makes us all happier in general. The great outdoors changes brain chemistry in a positive way, improves mood, decreases stress, provides opportunities for fun, and is simply downright beautiful.

All this ends up making for a happier and, thus, healthier you.

Cape Point Nature Reserve

Even though on a clear day you feel as if you could see to Antarctica from Cape Point, it is at least 6,000 kilometres away.