After a long drawn-out winter in many parts of the country, summer temperatures are finally arriving! This means it’s time to get outside and enjoy barbecues, picnics and much more. Yet, what you may not realize is that being outside is good for more than just your social life. It’s actually good for your health. Here’s why:
Going Outdoors Makes You Happy
Study after study has shown that being outside makes you happier. Why is this? No matter how well lit your home may be, the outdoors will most likely be lighter, and light elevates the mood. And remember, the lights don’t have to go off at night. Outdoor lighting that improves your ambiance can help you enjoy these benefits after the sun sets as well. Also, being physically active, which is sometimes more appealing when outdoors, helps you relax post-workout. You’ll find yourself smiling more as you surrounded yourself with nature and sunshine.
Higher Vitamin D Levels
Your body is designed to create Vitamin D when sunlight hits your skin. Vitamin D helps improve your immunity and reduce your risk of cancer, osteoporosis and heart attack. While you do need to be careful to avoid excess sun exposure, getting 15 to 20 minutes of daily sun, without sun block, will help improve your Vitamin D levels and your overall health.
While it’s true that you don’t have to go outside to exercise, there are many reason why exercising outdoors is easier and more natural, especially for kids. In one study, British researchers put G
PS systems on 1,000 children to measure their activity levels. The results concluded that children were twice as active when they were outside compared to inside. If you make going outdoors a daily goal, you’ll find yourself moving more.
Not only will you be moving more, but you’ll also find that exercising can improve your mental health. According to informal studies in England, even five minutes of outdoor exercise can improve your self-esteem and your overall mood. This study has created a trend known as “green exercise,” and this is one trend that is well worth embracing.
Your Concentration Will Improve
Did you know that kids who have ADHD are able to concentrate better when they are outside? While you may not be struggling with ADHD, you might find your concentration also improves with some fresh air. It certainly won’t hurt to take your work outside to see if there is a benefit!
Improve Your Body’s Healing Abilities
Are you facing surgery or another medical procedure this summer? Take your recovery outside. When researchers at the University of Pittsburgh looked at spinal surgery patients, they found that those who were exposed to natural light took less pain medication and felt less stressed during their recovery. While this doesn’t mean it will be a miracle cure, it won’t hurt to spend some of your recovery time outside.
Spending a portion of your day outdoors can result in tremendous benefits. You’ve waited all winter for the chance to spend some time outdoors, so why keep waiting? Grab a sun hat, throw on some flip flops and head outside! Your body and your mood will thank you.