Spring has sprung, which means it’s time to take advantage of Mother Nature and all she has to offer. I’m not referring to barbecues with endless food or sitting in a crowd at a sports game—I’ll tackle those benefits in another blog. In this case, I’m talking about spending more time outside so that you can breathe in fresh air and embrace some serious health perks. According to studies, being outdoors is known as a common remedy for stress and depression as it enhances mental health and well-being. Let’s take a look:
Your vitamin D levels rise Forget milk; sun does a body good. While you’re outside and your skin is exposed to sunlight, not only are you achieving a fresh glow, but you’re absorbing calcium and improving your bone metabolism. In addition, you’re maintaining muscle strength, regulating blood pressure and boosting your immune system. Since the skin drinks in the most vitamin D from unprotected exposure, it’s important to make sure you only remain without sunscreen for approximately 15 minutes. Sunburns are not enjoyable.
Your motivation to exercise enhances Sometimes we lie in bed contemplating whether to stay an extra 20 minutes or get up to fulfill workout goals. What can help motivate us—especially during the warmer months—is imagining how the sun will feel on our face and how our feet will feel on the natural ground. What’s even better is that you can choose any environment that best encourages you, whether it’s running on a beach at sunset, hiking up a mountainside or walking along a stream. In fact, studies have shown that exercisers who experience landscape views and natural green settings while working out feel more refreshed and less anxious than those who burn the same number of calories in a gym.
Your energy levels increase “Nature is fuel for the soul,” says Richard Ryan, author and professor of psychology. Adding to Mr. Ryan’s statement, nature’s sunlight releases serotonin, which helps boost your mood, mental performance and energy levels. A study conducted by the University of Rochester has proved that students who spent 20 minutes outside each day felt more energetic than students who didn’t. So, go ahead and plan those outdoor adventures and getaways you’ve been thinking about recently; it’s the perfect time.
Allyson Miller is a bookworm, history nerd and outdoor enthusiast who loves writing creative and informational content for SBT in Rock Hill, SC. Depending on the day, you can find her with her nose in historical documents, shopping for trendy exercise outfits or trying new cooking recipes. Allyson dreams that one day, engineers will figure out a way to build roller coasters sans the incline, ridding her of coasterphobia.