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Americans spend a lot of time indoors; in fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) contends that we spend a whopping 93% of our lives inside (87% in buildings and 6% in cars).

This is alarming on two levels: first, it’s a shame that so many of us are missing out on wonderful experiences like hiking, camping, or white water rafting.

These things can build teamwork and comradely between friends and family. Second, it’s actually unhealthy to spend so much time inside.

Here are just a few of the many medical benefits to exploring the outdoors:

It could alleviate stress and reduce anxiety

Simply being outdoors could help “put the brain in a state of meditation,” according to a recent study in the U.K.

Researchers maintain that when study participants were forced to walk through a “green space” (i.e. an outdoor environment) instead of an urban setting, they experienced “feelings of meditation” and “less frustration.”

It increases focus and combats mental fatigue

A study from the University of Washington’s College of the Environment contends that “encounters with nearby nature help alleviate mental fatigue by relaxing and restoring the mind.”

The researchers then argue that this has been shown to improve job and school performance, and even mitigate some of the symptoms of Alzheimers, dementia, and depression.

It can be an excellent workout

Hiking in particular is a great way to exercise, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to some of the most beautiful trails in the world.

You’ll hike uphill, downhill, and across all kinds of challenging terrains.

It’s a lot more fun than a treadmill — and the views are much better, too.

What are you waiting for?

This Fall, get out there and explore the outdoors. Call Raft Outdoor Adventures today at 866-333-RAFT, or book your white water rafting adventure online. We can’t wait to see you!

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