Outdoor living spaces are a huge trend in home improvement right now. Why? Because of the many, many benefits they provide. You can shape an outdoor living area to meet your needs and the needs of your family’s lifestyle. Are you a family of entertainers? Do you and the kids love to swim? Looking for a new place to work that isn’t just four walls? An outdoor living space is right for you! Plus, being outside naturally boosts mental and physical health making everyone feel better and reenergized.
Whether it’s a patio, deck, pool, play area, terrace, backyard, garden, or just a grassy open space, make it yours. Here are 12 big reasons you should move some of your living outdoors:
Indoor / Outdoor Living Areas Expand Your Living Space
This one is pretty obvious…adding an outdoor living area expands your overall living space. By creating a creatively designed and decorated area outside of your house, you can add as much additional square footage as your property allows. Although decks and patios have exact edges, the rest of your yard is wide open for you, kids, or pets to enjoy and play. Add an outdoor living space to create additional areas to sit and chat, read, and entertain. Today’s outdoor living spaces often include outdoor kitchens, dining areas, bars, grills, fireplaces, comfy furniture, sound systems, and even TV viewing areas.
Outdoor Living Areas Add Home Value
One of the easiest ways to increase your home’s value is by adding an outdoor living space. These areas add functional living space that makes your home more desirable to potential buyers. People want space, and the more you have, the more other people want it. A beautiful outdoor living room, easy-to-maintain patio, composite deck, or other outdoor living space helps your home stand out from the rest. Buyers will picture themselves and their families dining outside in the summer, relaxing in the hot tub after a long day of work, or watching the kids playing in the backyard while they read a book on their outdoor couch.
Outdoor Eating and Dining
Adding an outdoor kitchen and dining area is one of the most popular ways to use your new outdoor living space. Host your next dinner party outside to add a different feel than the normal, stuffy sit-down event. Plus, if some food falls or somebody spills a drink outside, you don’t have to worry as much about cleaning up and the potential damage rambunctious kids or tipsy guests could do.
Create the Ultimate Staycation
The perfect outdoor living space will provide you and your family with hours and hours of joy and entertainment. In the summer, a pool is something everyone can enjoy, especially when it’s hot out. Extend your living space to include your pool and you won’t have to leave home to enjoy floating in a tube. At the end of the day, relax in your very own spa or hot tube and let your muscles relax and your stress float away. Why share a hot tub with strangers at a hotel when you can soak in peace at home? If it starts to rain outside, don’t worry, a sunroom is the perfect option for enjoying fresh air without being exposed to the elements. All-season sunrooms allow you to bring the outdoors in by providing year-round enjoyment and use out of your space.
Reduce Stress Levels Outdoors
According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, spending time outdoors decreases the body’s levels of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that your body produces in response to stress. How many times have you heard the phrase “go for a walk” when someone is stressed out or angry? That’s because being outside helps lower your stress levels naturally. Outdoor living areas help reduce your heart rate, muscle tension, and blood pressure. After being inside all day at work, your body craves being outside to relax in the evening. Give your body what it wants and needs by adding an outdoor living space to your home. Play, read, eat, relax, entertain, or whatever you want to do, go outside and do it. Your mind, body, and family will thank you.
Outdoor Living Can Improve Your Health
- Increase Vitamin D Levels – The sun has been a natural healer for as long as people have existed. As your body soaks up Vitamin D, your skeletal, cardiovascular, neurological, and immune systems all benefit. Higher levels of Vitamin D are proven to protect against disease, optimize physical performance, and improve mental health.
- Mental Health Benefits – Breathe in and relax. Listen to the birds chirping, the leaves rustling, the sound of peace. Need we say more?
- Improve Memory – According to a study by the NIH, “participants exhibited significant increases in memory span after the nature walk.” This helps people that need to remember a speech they have coming up, notes for an upcoming meeting, and helps students remember and retain information for an upcoming test.
- Lower Your Risk of Chronic Disease – In a different study from the National Institutes of Health, “findings indicate that time spent outdoors is associated with lower chronic disease risk.”
- Reduce Inflammation – Vitamin D from the sun has anti-inflammatory properties, but so does the Earth. Science shows that walking barefoot in your lawn charges the body with negative electrons that help neutralize damaging free radicals that are linked to chronic inflammation.
- Reduce Blood Pressure – Studies show that the sound of a crackling fire naturally reduces blood pressure and triggers your body to prepare for sleep. Beyond the firepit, simply bathing yourself in nature reduces your blood pressure thanks to Mother Nature. In fact, in Japan, the practice of “forest bathing” is extremely popular and often prescribed. This doesn’t mean hitting the hot tub with some soap, this means simply taking in the flora and fauna of our world. Get outside!
- Sleep Better – People spend far too much time looking at screens. The blue light that most of these devices emit suppresses the body’s production of melatonin while also disrupting your circadian rhythm. Unplugging in the evening, and before bed, in your outdoor living area allows your body to decompress, unwind, and relax.
- Reduce Depression – According to a study by the NIH, “interacting with nature may be useful clinically as a supplement to existing treatments for” depression.
- Reduce Anxiety – Just like the benefits of being outside lower stress, an outdoor living area helps reduce anxiety. The human body naturally calms, both physically and mentally, when outdoors. Hit the pool, sit on your deck, or put a hammock in some trees and let your cares wash away.
- Promote Good Vision – An article in Reuters describes the benefits of being outdoors as helping lower the risk of nearsightedness in children. For adults, getting outside and off of screens helps reduce eye train, stress, and headaches.
Connection with Nature
Humans have always had a connection with nature. It’s in our backgrounds to crave being outside in the sun, enjoying the sights and sounds of Mother Nature’s beauty. You can’t enjoy the sound of a gentle breeze rustling the leaves of an oak tree from your couch, but, you can from the couch in your outdoor living area! Get the kids outside and eat dinner to the tune of bird songs while soaking up some Vitamin C from the sun.
Outdoor Living Helps Strengthen Relationships
Are you looking for an easy way to reconnect with your loved ones? Looking for a little more face-to-face time without electronics interfering? An outdoor living space provides an awesome opportunity to spend time with your loved ones. A fire pit or water feature provides a wonderful area to sit around and catch-up with your friends, kids, or spouse. Take a mental break from the day’s stress while soaking in a little nature and truly listen to what the other person is saying. If you’re feeling disconnected from the kids lately, think back to when you were younger. Did you love playing outside? Did you and your family sit around a campfire and sing songs, tell stories, or make smores? Adding a firepit and outdoor sitting area in your backyard can bring those memories back to life for you while creating new memories with your children that last a lifetime. On the health side of things, spending time outdoors helps improve cognitive functioning which improves communication in general.
With so many people now working remotely at home, being indoors can get to you. Staring at four walls all day long with a computer screen in your face while the sun is shining outside can get irritating. Why not expand your workplace to the backyard? Who says you can’t tackle a spreadsheet while soaking up some sun? There has been research that shows people with ADD/ADHD experience a reduction in symptoms after being outdoors for some time. Sitting out on the deck while the birds are chirping, the dog runs around chasing squirrels, and a slight breeze blows through the leaves can make you a much more productive worker. Spending time outdoors helps reduce fatigue (both physical and mental), increases creativity, and helps boost focus and memory. Who doesn’t want more of any of that?
Exercising in your house can be a bit limiting. And boring. Get outside and do your workout routine outdoors as much as you can. Free weights, dumbbells, and kettlebells are all portable. So are jump ropes, agility ladders, battle ropes, yoga mats, and a variety of other equipment. Forget walking on the treadmill in your basement, go do some laps around your backyard. Running around with your dog or playing soccer with your kids, cardio is easy to do outside. You can add a pullup bar onto your covered patio, toss around a medicine ball, or even add a heavy bag under a covered area. Many companies now actually design and sell outdoor gym equipment to help people exercise outdoors. No equipment? No problem! Push-ups, ab exercises, and squats can all be done with just your bodyweight right in your own backyard!
Outdoor Yoga Studio
Hit the mat for some relaxing and energizing yoga outside. Whether you’re in downward dog or are just staring at one, outdoor yoga is amazing. Picture yourself hitting warrior pose while the sun rise or the sky is filled with the orange and pink hues of a beautiful sunset? Outdoor yoga is super relaxing. Plus, you save on gym memberships and can wear whatever you want! So, grab a mat, a towel, and a bottle of water and minimize the distractions of being inside. Strengthen muscles, improve balance, and cultivate that inner strength that comes by being one with Mother Nature.
One of the biggest benefits of an outdoor living space is simply giving you and your family more enjoyment. People who are happy and have fun on a regular basis live longer. Besides joy, outdoor living areas provide the many, many health benefits mentioned above. Studies have shown that being outdoors helps boost your immune system, improves physical and mental health, and helps people recover from disease and injury quicker. So, stop reading this and get outside! Let K. Fedewa Builders help you enjoy your life by creating the perfect outdoor living are today. Contact us now.
Article written by David Glaeser Jr.