The top of the sky trail at The Trees of Mystery. Photo credit: Iridian Casarez

Benefits of being outside

As winter slowly creeps up on us as we continue through the semester, the ability to spend long periods of time outside while enjoying the sun are decreasing. The benefit of being outside right now is a mutually shared sentiment by students, professors, and faculty members.

By | Bryan Donoghue

Being outside rejuvenates our bodies. Geneviève Marchand, a Kinesiology professor specializing in outdoor recreation notices that many students come here and take opportunities to get to know the community of outdoor recreation, but that there are also some students who do not. This point of curiosity led to a study, if participation in the outdoors near Humboldt State helps students feel more connected to their campus community.

“My hypothesis is that it is and that students that actually either have opportunities to go outdoors or take the time to go outdoors feel more connected to Humboldt State.” Marchand said. “I’m really interested to find if that works and if that makes a difference.”

Outdoors 3.jpg
Gold Beach, Oregon Photo credit: Iridian Casarez

The outdoors provide a variety of different benefits under a cluster of different weather conditions and locations. Although, being outside in nature like we have in Humboldt stays consistently beneficial in how it effects our bodies and mind.

The cooling air is helpful with refreshment, acting as a stimulant of sorts that wakes up an individual, specifically someone who has been fatigued.

“When I’ve been at the gym all day, it’s nice to just walk outside and feel the cool air and just kind of chill for a second,” said Madeline Hatch, a sophomore kinesiology major at Humboldt State.

This sentiment aligns with Marchand’s research. According to Marchand, just being outside reduces our stress levels.

“We basically just go outdoors, and somehow being that it’s nature, that open space, being in green, the sounds and the smells, it all reduces our stress levels.” Marchand said. “There’s actually evidence of it reducing your heart rate, and calming your breathing.”

Outdoors 4.jpg
Grants Pass, Oregon Photo credit: Iridian Casarez

It’s not just feeling exhausted physically, after spending a while studying, sometimes the brain needs a breath of fresh air to be woken up as well.

“I definitely notice that when I get bogged down with studying, if I take my reading outside, it kind of wakes me up a bit,” said Kindall Murie, a senior marine biology major.

There’s evidence that the outdoors helps plenty psychologically. According to Marchand, it reduces mental stress and gives just a better mental wellbeing overall.

The outdoor environment of Humboldt County is something to be grateful for according to Steve Bell, an assistant supervisor at the Student Recreational Center at Humboldt State.

“You have to stimulate yourself. This is a natural way to get what’s available out there.” Bell said. “So that’s what we’re doing. We’re making the most of an opportunity to be out here, by being outside today. I was just telling my daughter here that you really need to thank God for the opportunity.”

To enjoy the benefits of being outside, you have to put the effort in. Make that first step. The benefits will follow.

“I was telling my daughter, we are going to get a lot more out of this than what you put into it.” Bell said. “You don’t only reap what you sow, you reap more than you sow. We’re doing it by faith, and we’re basically sowing the seed today to reap the benefits of another time.” 

Outdoors 2
The top of the sky trail at Trees of Mystery. | Photo by Iridian Casarez

According to Marchand, there’s evidence we learn best about ourselves, and potentially about how to work with other groups in outdoor settings that are challenging us.

“In the end, nature takes care of letting them know if they did a good job, or not.” Marchand said. “I think they learn about themselves, and become better and more in tune with themselves as human beings.”

Share This Post

More Stories

Nina G uses comedy to start conversations

During the virtual comedy event held by the SDRC, Nina Ghiselli tells her story and emphasizes the importance of student disability resources within schools.

It’s not just the Capitol Police

As the world watched from their televisions on January 6, we witnessed scenes unfold before our eyes that were, to many, unimaginable: supporters of President Trump swarmed the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building, then proceeded to break in and

The San Jose State University Football Team Comes to Humboldt

On a day’s notice from administration, the SJSU football team spends a week and a half in Humboldt practicing because their county did not allow it. Students react to their presence on campus in the midst of a pandemic. Directed

Homelessness in Humboldt, CA

This is the first trailer of a homeless documentary created by HSU students. We have spent months filming and will continue to film throughout the next year. Follow the heartbreaking stories of the homeless community around Humboldt county and the

Thrifty Arcata

Taking a tour of the local thrift shops in Arcata during the COVID-19 pandemic. Directed and produced by Skylar Gaven.

House Plants Generate Peace and Meaning During the Pandemic

Three different people with the same love for plants! House plants have become quite popular these days especially since we’re all basically stuck inside during the pandemic. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but these beautiful green oxygen-makers provide more

Prop 22 represents political favoritism of money over workers’ rights

California’s passing of proposition 22 on Nov. 5 represents a frustrating history of workers’ rights being trampled by the overwhelming influence of greed in politics.  This proposition forces app-based workers to be classified as independent contractors, rather than employees. This

Remembering Evelyn Andrews 10 months after her passing

By Katelyn Dendas It has been 10 months since my friend, teammate and freshman year dorm mate, Evelyn Andrews, passed away. I don’t remember what the grief counselor said or what transpired after that Monday, but I do remember arriving

Protestors seek to defund HSUPD

Two local, activist organizations work together to stage a sit-in against Humboldt State’s police department.

Getting stuck on the Trump train

Writer Anthony Aragon details his experience of accidentally joining a pro-Trump car rally.

Justin Turner exposes the World Series to COVID-19

Justin Turner didn’t need to be the story in the wake of the Dodgers’ first World Series victory in 32 years. Instead here we are, wondering what sort of, if any, punishment Major League Baseball will decide to hand down

Four more years of fear

News Editor Carlos Holguin explains why he is worried about the next four years.

Dismal democracy

The Lumberjack editorial staff comments on America’s flawed electoral system As the world watches the United States 2020 election results, waiting for our pseudodemocratic process to churn out a new president, historically unprecedented voting methods misrepresents the reported Election Day

The Mario triple pack invokes a nostalgia attack

When I was a child, the first video game system I owned was a Nintendo 64. Among the games I played was Super Mario 64. I played it all the time and when I wasn’t playing it, I was lying

Women’s lacrosse drops their competitive season

Greta Roberts, president and player of Humboldt State University’s women’s lacrosse team, made the decision with her coach and teammates to cancel the upcoming spring season. The team decided that not being able to recruit in the fall would be

Dobby’s proposition opinions

Haven’t voted yet? Well, you’re running out of time. Here’s a quick rundown of California’s propositions on the ballot this year

Corporations buy out propositions

In a series of general and misleading advertisements, corporate backers of Propositions 22 and 23 show their grubby hands

CDOR continues virtually

The Campus and Community Dialogue On Race returns covering global justice for Black Lives.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Local food management practices of the Tolowa Dee-ni, Yurok and other indigenous peoples.

Humboldt State Admin attempts to discredit the Lumberjack

***A Lumberjack editorial represents both the majority opinion of the student newspaper’s editorial board, nine editors, as well as the overwhelming majority of Humboldt State University’s student body. Collectively, an editorial echos, embodies and advocates for community beliefs.*** Insensitive communications

Music of the Moment 6

21 Savage and Metro Boomin drop a classic with “Savage Mode II”

Spartans arrive at HSU despite campus concerns

***Editor’s note: SJSU football program was tested in congruence with Mountain West conference guidelines*** The Spartans have arrived and this time they’re not carrying spears or shields. Instead the San Jose State football team stepped onto the Humboldt State campus

Music of the Moment 5

After shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Tory Lanez cancels himself

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Comparisons between episodes of the classic TV show The Twilight Zone and our own dismal reality

Music of the Moment 4

YoungBoy Never Broke Again dodges the sophomore slump with his new album “Top.”

Self-Care Cuts

Changing your hair to change your life

HSU Seaweed Farm sets sail

The first commercially-approved seaweed farm in California will be on the map.

Music of the Moment 3

For better or worse, Big Sean is likely gone for good.

More Layers, More Protection?

Humboldt State demands double masking on campus, does more layers equal more protection?

The Ethnic Studies Bill is a Blessing

Ethnic Studies will thankfully become mandatory for all California State University students – as it should be.

The Complex Interface of Humans and Wildfires

How fire suppression is a mixed bag in Humboldt County Every fire season, blankets of smoke roll over Humboldt County. Here on the coast, that’s as close to wildfires as some of us get. But our practice of fire suppression

Defund HSU’s Police Department

Incidents of racism from the former UPD Chief, past examples of excessive force from current officers and a shrinking university budget.

How Not To Be Bitten By A Kitten

Please prepare to be prey Congratulations, a baby feline has recently come into your life. If they’re anywhere from 2-18 months, they bite. They see you as prey. Because you are prey. You always have been. You always will be.

Graduating Into Uncharted Waters

HSU graduates attempt to navigate a world turned upside-down by COVID-19 In May, Humboldt State University graduated hundreds of students, as it does every year. Unlike past years, graduates didn’t get to shake hands with their respective dean and receive

HSU Cultural Center Budget Slashed

Associated Students leaves student body devastated after significant reductions in cultural center’s budget.

All aboard the plague ship

Unprecedented times are met with normalized behavior, HSU puts students and community members at higher risk after reopening campus and student housing.

Music of the Moment

The hip-hop community rallies behind the Black Lives Matter Movement

Inside the Immune System

How the body uses multiple levels of defense against foreign intruders

Catcalling Can’t Continue

Verbal harassment toward women is about control and the assertion of gender discrimination

Major League Marijuana

Why I don’t think marijuana is everything it’s cracked up to be in baseball

Pigs Compost on Campus

CCAT tries to reduce HSU’s food waste footprint through new pig program