Wednesday, June 30th, 2021
The past year and a half has made us all increasingly aware of our immunity. Some immune systems may be a little weaker after remaining in isolation for so long. There is a very simple and fun way to boost your immunity naturally. All it requires is stepping outside into the sunshine! The benefits of the outdoors are innumerable. Let’s explore just some of the benefits to your well-being both physically and mentally by being outside.
Boost Your Mood
One of the best and most obvious benefits of being out in the sun is vitamin D. Vitamin D is a great defense against illnesses including Covid-19. You can get vitamin D from a supplement, but its most potent source is from the sun itself.
Vitamin D is also a great, natural mood booster! Seasonal depression comes from a lack of vitamin D during the colder months when we may spend more time indoors. So if you ever feel a little out of sorts, go for a stroll in the sunshine or even just sit in the sun.
Not only is vitamin D from the sun a great benefit of being outdoors, so is the fresh air! Oxygen is our literal life force and it is most plentiful in nature. Witnessing the beauty of nature has a calming, peaceful effect. Taking in the sights and sounds of the world around us can remind us of a purpose bigger than ourselves.
Make Your Heart Healthy
Another benefit to being outdoors is getting active! When you move your body, you increase blood flow to your heart. The heart is a large muscle. When we increase our heart rate through exercise, we are increasing the strength of that muscle.
Cardiovascular disease runs rampant throughout our nation. Simply going for a walk, playing a recreational sport, swimming or any light exercise can do wonders to decrease your risk of heart disease.
Exercise also releases lots of good endorphins, further contributing to our well-being. Endorphins block pain receptors and help decrease anxiety and depression. The more regularly you exercise, the better you will feel.
Now that many restrictions have been lifted, it’s important to cultivate community. Getting outside allows you to meet the people around you, build relationships and find ways to serve your community.
From waving hello to a neighbor, playing a team sport, or attending an outdoor event, all of these activities contribute to a healthy, happy individual. We were made to be in community. We thrive when we lean on one another for support and comradery.
Being around other people outdoors is still a safer way to congregate in groups as well. Some exchange of “germs” between people is important to build up our immune systems. In small amounts, those germs train our bodies to fight and build antibodies to guard against disease.
A Break from Screen Time
Constant streaming, scrolling, and virtual meetings have us glued to our screens for many hours each day. It’s important for the health of our eyes and our minds to cut it off once in a while. Give your brain a break and clear your mind with some time spent outside.
We spend so much time watching others live life on a screen, we sometimes forget to live it ourselves. There’s plenty of adventure and experiences for you, right outside your door.
Stay Safe in the Sun
With extra time outside, it’s important to keep in mind some safety precautions. Remember to use sun protection, especially when the sun’s rays are most intense. From about 10 am until 4 pm, the sun is high in the sky and our skin is most likely to suffer damage if left unprotected.
Wear a hat and use a minimum 30 SPF sunscreen when you’ll be exposed to the sun for longer than 10 minutes. As the temperature outside increases, be sure to stay well hydrated. Keep a bottle of water handy at all times.
Make it a goal to get outside for at least an hour each day! It will greatly improve your mood and your overall health.