Did you know the average person spends the equivalent of four and a half years eating during their lifetime? That works out to 1,583 days worth of chowing down, tucking into, and devouring breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. 

But while you may enjoy eating a plate of your favorite meal, that doesn’t necessarily mean you want your entire house to smell like what you prepared in the kitchen. Cooking outside -- using a BBQ grill, outdoor pizza oven, or some other method -- is one way around that.  

Aside from keeping aromas from infusing every nook and cranny of your residence, there are other good reasons to cook and eat outside. For example, cooking and eating outside is good for your health. 

Consider these four reasons why enjoying your meals outdoors is good for you.

1. Lessens Stress

One benefit of eating outside rather than remaining cooped up in your kitchen is lower stress. According to one source, stress lowers within minutes of exposure to nature. So, being outside will help with blood pressure, muscle tension, and brain activity. 

Your cortisol levels -- referring to a stress hormone -- will decrease. And your dopamine and endorphin levels will increase. After a long day at work, school, or something else, you can unwind by preparing your food outside and enjoying it alone or with company on the patio deck.

2. Enhances Quality of Sleep

Spending time outside will also help you to enjoy a better quality of sleep. When you stay indoors for too many hours of the day and breathe in stale air, your sleep quality may suffer. You’ll have plenty of access to fresh air when cooking, eating, and socializing out on the back deck. And you’ll enjoy better sleep that leaves you restored and well-rested in the morning.

Adults require between seven and nine hours of sleep nightly. Otherwise, they run the risk of experiencing adverse health issues. Incorporating outdoor time into your daily schedule makes sense from a healthy living perspective.

3. Improves Mood

You can also improve your mood by spending more time outdoors. Depression and anxiety can lower when you’re at one with nature. Whether you start your day with coffee and fresh bagels or enjoy dinner after work or school, you can elevate your mood. 

One study shows that around nine in 10 people interviewed said their mood improved after going outside. To improve your mood, head outdoors for meal preparation and dining. 

4. Enhances Overall Health of Entire Family

Another benefit of spending time outdoors with family is that the entire family can benefit. You can all enjoy natural light and fresh air outdoors together as you grow closer as a unit. 

According to the Harvard Graduate School of Education, only around three in 10 families eat together regularly -- even though family mealtime benefits children. It’s worth putting in the effort so your kids can reap the rewards of regular family dinners.

The same Harvard Graduate School of Education article notes that 80% of teenagers say the best time to discuss things with their parents is during family dinner. Moreover, having family dinners can improve the physical health of your family. You can ensure balanced meals with limited salt, fat, and sugar. Consider, too, that regular family dinners are connected with lower instances of substance abuse, tobacco use, eating disorders, and early teenage pregnancy. 

These are some reasons why eating outdoors can offer significant health benefits for you and your family. Beyond doing it for health, you can have a great time spending more time outside of the house. 

Chances are that you’ll enjoy the experience so much that you’ll want to do it more often.