When did we go from hanging out in the outdoors to being cooped up indoors- for days at a time? Are we better for this switch? No. Our immune systems are taking a beating, but today’s excerpt can help reverse that trend.


It may be time to step outside if you find yourself cooped up with tons of other people at your office, or even in your own home. Such close quarters exposes you to all sorts of germs. Plus, even a simple walk outside can raise your immune system. “Exercise leads to an increase in natural killer cells, neutrophils and monocytes, which ultimately increases immune function,” Ather Ali, ND, MPH, assistant director of Complementary/Alternative Medicine Research at the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center tells Health.com.


Science shows that you really should stop and smell the roses, as the smell of them promotes relaxation. Other flowers, like lavender and jasmine can also lower anxiety and up your mood. Research shows that the scent of pine trees decreases stress and increases relaxation. Even walking through a park or your own backyard can help you feel calmer and happier when you catch a whiff of freshly cut grass. And while rain may put a damper on your outdoor plans, we love nothing more than the scent of a downpour, according to Smithsonian magazine. The smell reminds us of the color green and may be linked with the growth of both the plants and animals that we need to eat, which could explain why it smells so good to us.


Source: “Why Getting Fresh Air Is So Good For You.” By Abigail Wise. http://www.huffingtonpost.com