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Barwhillanty Blog… ‘tis the season to get outdoors!


Chestnuts roasting on an open fire… festive cheer is well and truly here, along with our seasonal sentiment to embrace the outdoors and enjoy Jack Frost nipping at your nose. I am delighted to have collaborated with Katie Myers at Mainland Aggregates to bring you some encouraging insights into the health benefits of being outdoors, so it’s time to don your hats and gloves… here at Barwhillanty, we have adopted this wholesome message by incorporating a nature-based activity each day of advent, through the children’s ADVENTure calendar.

Since today’s society is becoming less focused on the outdoors, with technology, productivity and career-driven lifestyles at the forefront, we hope to inspire you to indulge in our ethos and seek sunlight. By working at the office, commuting by train or car and spending the evening in our homes, it’s easy for the majority of our day to be spent inside without natural sunlight. As a result, 90% of our time is spent indoors on average, which means the majority of us are not spending as much time outside as we need to.

Even if it’s just by going for a short walk on your lunch break, cycling to work or jogging in the mornings, there are massive health benefits to getting sunlight exposure each day. Being exposed to natural sunlight is key in regulating your circadian rhythm, being able to concentrate and staying energised throughout the day. Especially during the winter months when daylight hours are at their lowest, it’s very important to make sure you spend some time outdoors each day. Here is a summary of the health benefits, along with a helpful infographic.

Mental Health Benefits

  • Increased energy levels
  • Being exposed to natural sunlight is directly linked to increased energy levels. Spending just 20 minutes outdoors can give you the same energy spike as a cup of coffee!
  • Improved concentration & memory
  • Natural light stimulates your mind and increases alertness, helping you to focus and retain information easily.
  • Positive outlook

1 in 3 people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is a type of depression caused by lack of sunlight. Getting outside each day for even just an hour is a great way to combat SAD and improve your overall mood.

Physical Health Benefits

  • Circadian rhythm

Exposure to natural sunlight is crucial to regulating your circadian rhythm. Without natural daylight, your body won’t be able to enter a restful state when it needs to, which over time, will cause you to become sleep-deprived.

  • Lowers blood pressure

The natural outdoors has a profound effect on your immune system and can significantly reduce your blood pressure as well as decrease stress hormones.

  • Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. Studies have shown that we get 90% of our daily Vitamin D from natural sunlight.

So when choosing your next escape or adventure, think about getting outside… come and explore the spectacular countryside of Dumfries and Galloway, experience one of our Raw and Wild retreats or bring your shooting party to Barwhillanty Estate. We are passionate about the outdoors and hope to inspire you to be too…


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