The Health Benefits of Bird Watching

bird watching outside

Do you love nothing more than grabbing your binoculars and heading out in the woods to see how many different varieties of birds you can spot? Bird watching is a popular hobby – according to the RSPB, some three million adults do it every year in the UK! Plus, it is one of the easiest hobbies to start because they can be seen anywhere, and you don’t even need binoculars to do it. (They are a big help though)

But, did you know that it is also good for your health – both mentally and physically?

Great exercise

When you consider the distance you could potentially hike in order to spot a bird, is will come as no surprise that bird watching is good exercise – which is obviously good for our health. Plus, a healthy body equals a healthy mind! When we exercise, levels of serotonin and dopamine (that make us feel good) rise, and levels of cortisol (that make us feel stressed) are lowered.

Plenty of fresh air

Since the rise in technology we have started to spend more and more time sat inside – whether we’re watching a box set on TV, playing a game on our tablets or scrolling through social media on our phones. Bird watching gets you outside where you will spend plenty of time breathing fresh air into your lungs and soaking up vitamin D from the sun.

Credit: Henry Hagnäs

Photo credit: Henry Hagnäs

Lifts your spirits

Bird watching can be exciting, you never know what you will see next and what type of bird you might discover that day. It can help to restore your optimism and self-esteem leaving you feeling exhilarated with a renewed sense of purpose.

Lowers stress levels

Everyday life tends to be fast and frantic. This can cause stress, which can increase the risk of many illnesses. Watching birds, on the other hand, is calming and relaxing – it is the epitome of peace and tranquility. You stop thinking about all those things that were causing you stress, instead focusing on the moment.

Time to reflect

Bird watching also allows you time to reflect – and when watching birds with their delicate wings flying from branch to branch and taking food to their young – you will feel at one with nature. It provides you with the time to take in the world around you and focus your attention as you look out for the rustle of leaves. This will remind you of the simpler things in life and realise that those big things you worry about aren’t as important as they once seemed.

You don’t even have to leave your garden to take part in this sport and reap the health benefits. Check out this website – http://www.wildbirdfeeders.co.uk/ – and fill your garden with bird feeders, bird baths and bird houses – anything that will help attract them to your garden.

If you weren’t bird watching before, you probably will be now!

[Image Credit: Tori Wright | Flickr]

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Naomi Webb

Author: Naomi Webb

Naomi Webb is a freelance writer, who has written for a wide range of online and magazine publications. Her key interests lie in providing unique lifestyle content for a variety of readers, covering a range of topics such as home and garden, travel, wildlife and family content.

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