We’re finally feeling the end of the chill in the air, and you’re not stuck indoors for the long haul. Have you been battling with spring fever and the need to get out more?
That’s a good sign, because enjoying the arrival of nicer weather is one way to live well and breathe easy.
You see, heading outdoors is just plain good for you. And you don’t need to plan a visit to a special location to reap the rewards of regular, fresh air. Leaving the building for only a short time triggers a number of positive physical and mental responses—all good reasons for you to get out more.
Nature’s Way to Wellness
Have you ever thought that people who live life on the farm, ranch or even just out in the country seem to be stronger, with more hearty constitutions? They might even have a better outlook on life – and it might be because they spend more time communing with nature.
At least one Japanese study has shown that time spent outdoors, complete with the birds, trees, brooks, grass and clouds has a remarkable positive effect. In fact, interacting with nature is reported to help promote healing, reduce depression, spark creativity and increase longevity–about 15% over 5 years!
Interested in a little eco-therapy of your own? A regular walk in the park may do the trick.
The Sunny Side of the Street
Did you know that spending a brief time out in the sunlight is the body’s natural method of Vitamin D production? It’s good to know that you don’t need to bask in the hot sun for hours, or eat fortified foods, or even take a pill to get your D vitamin dose.
Research has pointed to Vitamin D as an immune system booster and perhaps even a cancer fighter. Several minutes of sunshine directly on your skin is enough to tell your body to make all it needs.
Natural light from the sun has also has been shown to have a positive effect on mood, while deprivation from certain rays in the UV spectrum may cause depression in some people.
Breathe It In
Our lungs serve as “filters” for all the air we take in, every breath throughout our lives. Inside our homes and other buildings, dust and fumes accumulate and are breathed in to our bodies. Breathing in higher quality air can help clear impurities from your lungs and be an asset to health and fitness.
Since fresh air cleans your lungs of pollutants, it creates room for oxygen to make its way through your bloodstream to your muscles, organs and brain. Expect more energy and a better state of mind as a result. In fact, your brain alone uses 20% of the body’s oxygen to function!
The more fresh air you can breathe in, and the more often, the better. But remember, not all outdoor air is exactly fresh! Taking a break from the air of big cities, construction zones and factories is a wonderful idea, too.