Many health care providers give their patients “nature prescriptions” to get outside for help treating mental and physical conditions, from blood pressure to depression. But the benefits of spending time outdoors actually extend into enhancing your hair and skin too. Keep reading to learn why you should consider adding increased outdoor time to your beauty routine to positively impact your skin and hair wellness.
Your Overall Well-Being Impacts Your Skin and Hair
Did you know that most Americans spend over 90% of their time indoors?
It's easy to get caught up in indoor life, especially if you start your day going from home to office (yet again indoors), spending hours perched in front of screens, from your phones to your computers to your TV. So what does spending an excessive amount of time indoors have to do with your beauty routine?
Since our society is centered around indoor activities, it's no secret we're majorly disconnected from nature. This disconnect to nature leaves us with hormonal imbalances that can provoke symptoms of stress — and even depression and insomnia. Chronic stress and sleep deprivation are two major triggers of inflammation in the body, which can wreak havoc on our skin and hair.
What's more, chronic stress has been linked to negative aesthetic effects like:
- Skin dullness
- Premature skin aging
- Hair thinning
- Premature hair graying
- Hair loss
- Hair dullness and limpness
The Relationship Between Stress and Hair Wellness
It turns out that hair health is strongly connected with inflammation in the body. Since inflammation is caused by an excess of stress hormones like cortisol, it makes sense that spending time outdoors doing activities that relieve the pressure of daily stressors and anxiety ultimately has positive effects on our hair health.
That's why we believe in hair wellness, aka taking a holistic, 360-degree inside-out approach to beauty in addition to vegan topical solutions like our GRO Hair Serum, which is formulated with powerful plant phyto-actives and has been clinically proven to increase the appearance of hair density up to 52% and reduce signs of shedding up to 76% after four months of consistent use.
For an additional boost of nature in your hair serum, try GRO+ Advanced Hair Serum, which features all the same plant-based ingredients as the original formula plus microencapsulated, full-spectrum CBD.
Having healthy hair and skin is not only about the amazing hair care products you use but also about caring for yourself in ways like regulating your stress and eating well. Thankfully, partaking in physical activity while spending time outdoors is an ultrasimple remedy to improving not only your physical and mental well-being, including the health of your skin and hair.
Outdoor Activities for Relieving Stress and Pain
If you're feeling tense or restless, the good news is that spending more time outside is a free and effective way of releasing and managing stress and anxiety.
Going out for just 20 minutes to connect with nature can help lower stress hormone levels and pain, according to a study in "Frontiers in Psychology." In the study, researchers asked 36 participants to spend at least 10 minutes or more during any time of day in an outdoor place where they could interact with nature, which they continued to do three days a week for eight weeks. In the end, the participants that ended up spending between 20 to 30 minutes immersed in nature were associated with the biggest drop in cortisol (stress hormone) levels. As we mentioned earlier, managing your stress and lowering your cortisol levels is essential when it comes to combating inflammation in your body before it can damage your precious hair and skin.
There are also brain benefits that come with spending time in nature. Since you're getting out and active, you're boosting your circulation, which in turn can improve mood, sharpen focus and enhance your cognition.
To protect your hair from the effects of stress, don’t forget to add one of the following outdoor activities to your to-do list:
Outdoor Yoga and Stretching
Exercise of just about any type can help with stress relief. Moving your favorite workout to a natural environment to soak in the fresh air and nature sounds could make you even happier. Take your mat outside for a gentle yoga flow or easy morning stretch to instantly melt your stress away.
Walking in Nature
Going on daily walks is an easy way to enter a state of mediation — by taking in the moment, leaving your thoughts free to wander and practicing mindfulness. Some of the greatest thinkers, including Charles Darwin and Friedrich Nietzsche, strongly believed that going on daily walks was the one-size-fits-all answer to a good life. They equated daily walks with enhancing their character, coming up with great ideas and enriching their creativity.
In Japan, there's a similar activity called forest bathing. Also known as "shinrin yoku," which literally translates to "forest bath," forest bathing is essential to the practice of "bathing" in the atmosphere of the forest.
While it started out as a meditation exercise, researchers began to notice that the simple practice of taking walks in the forest offered many long-lasting health benefits for the body and mind alike. To try forest bathing, simply walk through the woods and enjoy the presence of the trees and nature around you to absorb the quiet benefits of forest therapy.
Bonus points if you walk in your bare feet! (This takes the activity's grounding benefits to another level).
Also: 9 Ways to Lower Cortisol
When it comes to full-body aerobic exercises that are gentle on your joints and bones, there are few things that rival swimming. To maintain optimal physical health, most doctors suggest doing 30-60 minutes of aerobic exercises like swimming between three to five times a week. Plus, swimming a few laps in an outdoor pool can work major magic on your mood and stress levels, boosting circulation that could promote better hair wellness.
By spending time outdoors, research shows you can reap major mental health benefits, including increased happiness and state of mind. Gardening is no exception! The best part is you don't have to go very far to do it. Even if you just have a small terrace or front yard, you can plant your favorite easy-to-grow herbs in a small pot and tend to them each morning.
Plus, the sense of accomplishment you get after seeing something you planted begin to grow can be truly satisfying and promote good vibes. What's not to love?
Ride a Bike
There's a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced negative emotions. This includes symptoms of anxiety, depression and psychosomatic illnesses like irritability, insomnia, tension headaches and indigestion.
Opting to take your bike instead of your car when possible is an easy way to get some physical exercise and some much-needed air.
Watch the Sunset
Nature also boosts endorphin levels and dopamine production, which promotes happiness. Instead of scrolling down the endless posts on social media, choosing to take 20 minutes to go out to enjoy the sunset can bring you way more good vibes.
Have a Picnic
Sometimes you just need to eat some cheese, especially when you're exhausted from work. Working nonstop without taking a break can lead to stress and chronic exhaustion. Taking breaks from stressful routines can enhance one’s creativity, productivity and focus. Take it to the next level by combining that with the health and stress reduction benefits of an outdoor picnic in nature with your favorite dopamine-inducing cheeses and grapes, and you have yourself a major recipe for instant stress relief.
Next time you're stuck in an energetic or creative rut, doing something relaxing like having a picnic or bringing happy hour to the park or beach can be just what you need. And for an extra added boost of relaxation with hair-healthy benefits, consider adding CBD-enhanced hair gummies to your daily routine, which harness the power of broad-spectrum hemp to promote thicker, fuller-looking hair and include vitamins and minerals, like biotin, folic acid and zinc, to give your hair what it needs to shine. Each GRO+ Advanced Gummy features 10 mg of CBD and 10 mg of CBG to help you unwind and give your hair the vitamins it needs to flourish.
Tony Robbins is known for bouncing on a mini portable trampoline before giving motivational speeches. According to him, rebounding is an instant remedy to getting out of your head, changing your state of mind, boosting your mood, connecting with your inner child and just letting loose and having fun!
During moments of stress, consider getting outside to channel your inner Tony Robbins by taking a few minutes to jump around and take a major load of stress and anxiety off your shoulders.
Many people find they're able to focus and relieve stress by listening to nature sounds while working. Going outside and journaling while immersed in live sounds of nature like chirping birds is a peaceful way to practice mindfulness while getting in touch with your feelings. Hearing the sounds of nature around you also reminds you that you're not alone and that you're a part of a grand and diverse community that lives on this planet.
Walk a Dog
According to David and Austin Perlmutter, the co-authors of "Brain Wash: Detox Your Mind for Clearer Thinking, Deeper Relationships, and Lasting Happiness," chronic stress inhibits our brain's prefrontal cortex from doing its job, so by lowering our stress hormones, nature is helping us maintain our abilities for higher-level thinking. Taking your dog for a daily walk, for example, can help balance your body's hormone levels, thereby creating a corresponding increase in happiness and socially productive behaviors.
Even if you don't have a dog, consider joining a friend who does for occasional strolls! There’s a reason why outdoor adventures can make you feel better. David and Austin Perlmutter also share that getting out in the great outdoors has a restorative effect on the heavy mental burdens that come with stress. Just getting out of the house in the middle of a stressful moment can help restore your attention, creativity, and your desire to do more, even if it's just a quick 10-minute walk with your favorite pup!
Make Spending Time Outdoors Part of Your Beauty and Wellness Routine
The regular practice of outdoor stress relief includes more than just your physical health. It's important to remember that incorporating this habit and maintaining your mental well-being is a major factor in enhancing your skin and hair wellness. Prolonged exposure to the hormone cortisol can cause hair loss and can even cause your hair to grow more slowly.
While caring for your hair with GRO Hair Serum or other hair wellness products are helpful to creating fuller, more luscious hair, it's also important to find ways to reduce your stress, like swimming or forest bathing.
More From VEGAMOUR
Photo credit: Holly Mandarich/Unsplash