Fresh air may be the best free medicine you will ever come across. In fact, many doctors are prescribing horticultural therapy as a means of aiding the likes of depression and anxiety. The need to get outside in daylight hours is becoming more and more important to our mental health, particularly in today’s high-pressure, technology-led society.

However, getting out in the fresh air can also have a profound effect on your physical health as well as your mental health. It’s amazing just how much difference an hour outside each day can make to your wellness. Here are just a few ways fresh air is important for you:

It cleans your lungs

Fresh air improves the cleansing of your lungs thanks to your lungs dilating more from an increase of oxygen. Therefore, a regular intake of fresh, clean oxygen helps your lungs to dilate even more. When breathing out, you also release airborne toxins from your body, so it is best to do this outside rather than inside, where you will breathe them back in again.

It improves your mood

Breathing in fresh oxygen means inhaling a greater amount of serotonin, which is a mood-boosting hormone. Therefore, the sooner you get yourself out of the office or the house, the happier you will be.

Getting out in the countryside can have a really positive impact. It has been proven that the smell of certain flowers and herbs can calm you down, thus explaining why so many GPs refer patients for horticultural therapy.

It strengthens your immune system

Oxygen is a wonderful thing; aside from boosting your mood, it also helps your white blood cells to function properly. This kills germs and bacteria in your body, making it easier for you to fight off illnesses and disease. Going out and getting more fresh air will mean you get more clean oxygen, helping the white blood cells even more.

When at work, you are likely in close quarters with those you work with. Therefore, you are breathing in each others’ germs all day. Try to take a walk during the day to boost your immune system.

It gives you energy

Research has shown that being out in the fresh air increases energy in people. In fact, up to 90 per cent of people could feel more energised if they are outside, surrounded by nature. So, taking a trip to a local park or woodland walk will give you the energy to take a walk; giving you some valuable exercise and exposure to plenty of fresh air, too.

This should not be construed as medical advice and is for guidance only.