Blue skies, starry nights, clean, pure air… There’s nothing like looking up at the scenery while breathing in the fresh air. It helps us feel better and, thanks to the good weather on the Spanish coast, this is possible all year round.
March is the month of the sky and air… to remind us of its importance.
Benefits of being outdoors
A clear, blue sky is not only beautiful. It is also very healthy. Clean air cleanses the lungs and the mind. After a day surrounded by nature, you can feel it.
For exercising 🤸♂️
Some people love to exercise. Others are too lazy. Either way, trading the four walls of the gym for an open, natural setting makes a huge difference.
This is according to the Spanish Federation of Directed Activities and Fitness (FEDA), which highlights the following benefits of exercising outdoors:
- An O2 rush. Fresh air increases vitality and strength. When you exercise outdoors, you take in pure oxygen to nourish your cells. This helps your immune system fight against disease.
- Lower levels of anxiety. An enclosed and crowded gym is not good for stress levels. Working out outdoors in a spacious, less crowded and pleasant environment takes away any feelings of anxiety. You will feel calmer and better about yourself.
- A stronger brain. By changing the scenery, you will train your brain, because being outdoors will provide new mental and visual stimuli.
- Mental health. Exercising increases your vitality, makes you feel better, boosts your self-esteem, even more so when you are outdoors. Forget about awkward stares at the gym!
Do you feel like working out? In this post we talk about all kinds of outdoor sports you can practice on the Spanish coast.
For the brain 🧠
Apart from outdoor exercise, the brain also benefits from the simple fact of breathing clean air. There is a reason for the expression “get some air”.
Oxygen is essential for maintaining brain function, growth, and healing. In fact, your brain uses about three times more oxygen than your muscles. Every time you take a walk and breathe fresh air, your brain function improves, especially if you spend most of your time at the office.
Just take a short walk during your breaks to see how your performance improves!
And then there’s vitamin D, of course. When you expose yourself to sunlight, your skin synthesises vitamin D, an essential nutrient for healthy brain function. Vitamin D protects the brain’s neurons and can help reduce inflammation in the body.
It’s an essential vitamin, so even if it’s just for 10 minutes, get out there and get some air!
For general wellbeing 🤗
If all you want is to feel better, a breath of fresh air can help you with all this:
- Lower levels of stress. Many of us work in an office or at home all day, with deadlines and other pressures on top of that. Being outdoors can help reduce stress. Spending time in nature lowers your heart rate, helps your brain produce endorphins and makes positive changes in your state of mind. 🙏
- Serotonin for everyone! The more oxygen in the blood, the more serotonin (the happiness hormone) is generated, which is why you feel better, more relaxed and more refreshed after being outdoors!
- Clean lungs. When sitting indoors, it is quite common to breathe shallowly, inhaling air into the top of your lungs, which is known as apical breathing. When you’re outdoors, by moving, walking or jogging, you breathe more deeply using your diaphragm, drawing more air into the bottom of your lungs. This not only brings more oxygen to your cells, but also helps your lungs expel toxins from the air out of your body. 🌬
The most beautiful skies
We have rankings for everything, as you know. Even for the most beautiful skies in the world. There are a lot of them, but these are our top three picks. What do you think about them?
Atacama Desert, Chile. They say it’s one of the best places for stargazing. At 2,000 metres above sea level, there’s less air separating you from the stars, so the flickering effect disappears. There are even hotels that have their own observatory!
La Palma, Spain. The Canary Islands offer nature in its purest form, also when it comes to the sky. In 2002, UNESCO declared the island of La Palma a Biosphere Reserve. And it’s no wonder: it is a popular destination for ‘astro-tourists’ due to the clarity of its skies.
Cape Town, South Africa. Table Mountain, the well-known Table Mountain, is not only the natural symbol of Cape Town, but also the best vantage point from which to enjoy the incredible skies over the South African city.
Places with the cleanest air
So where can we go to breathe better? The World Air Quality Report helps us make the right choice:
Sierra de Calderona Natural Park, Valencia. With 4.6 micrograms of suspended particles per cubic meter of air, the Sierra Calderona Natural Park and the town of Albalat dels Tarongers are a stronghold of clean air in the heart of the Valencian Community.
Visit the Casa del Castell dels Blanes and go up to the Mirador del Garbí for breathtaking views of the mountains and the Mediterranean. And, if that’s not enough, the towns of Viver and Buños are among the ten least polluted in Spain.
Villalba de Guardo, Palencia. As part of the so-called “vacated Spain”, the low population density in this area of Palencia means that pollution is also very low. As a result, this place has some of the cleanest air in Spain.
Villalba de Guardo is surrounded by the Natural Park of Fuentes Carrionas and Fuente Cobre-Montaña Palentina, so imagine the quality of the air, with vegetation everywhere!
Nassau, Bahamas. Apparently, the photographs of the Bahamas that we see in travel agencies are real. Nassau’s sky is one of the least polluted in the world. Add to that the paradisiacal beaches and crystal clear Atlantic waters, the diving, the boat trips, the white sand… Who can resist? Only 25 of them are inhabited, so maybe you can conquer one of the deserted ones.
St Helens, Australia. St Helens is the largest city on the northeast coast of Tasmania. Although it’s a city, it’s one of the places with the cleanest air. It had to be in Australia, of course. St Helens is known for the quality of its oysters, and is one of the best ecotourism destinations in the country – a must for any adventurer!
You already know that on the Mediterranean coast we love to enjoy the outdoors. If you want, you can too!
And, as always, here’s our playlist with songs dedicated to the sky. So that you can always feel like you’re under a clear sky, wherever you are.