Spring has finally sprung and warmer temperatures are beckoning us to the bright world outside! Most of us won't need any convincing to get up and get moving after a long winter, but in case you're on the fence (or are still in binge-watching, couch potato, hibernation mode), here are some pretty convincing reasons why you should be getting your time in the sun!
Your Body Needs Vitamin D
It's no secret that the glorious rays of the sun, apart from providing comforting warmth and overall fuzzy feelings, are to thank for necessary Vitamin D production in the body. Vitamin D deficiencies are actually quite common, but limited sun exposure (we're not encouraging unprotected sun-bathing for extended periods of time) on your skin for as little as 15 minutes, a few times a week, is enough to get this vital vitamin circulating. Vitamin D is necessary for overall bone health, but more and more research is also showing that it may safeguard against a slew of other ailments, including heart attacks and strokes. Not a bad trade-off for a leisurely stroll around the block!
Your Mood Will Improve
Sunlight is believed to increase levels of serotonin in the brain. This hormone is associated with elevated mood and an overall feeling of well-being. Light is so effective at combating the blues, in fact, that light therapy is often used for those with Seasonal Affective Disorder who feel especially down during the dark, winter months.
You're More Likely To Be Active Over Time
Taking a few minutes a day to get some fresh air leads to more active and healthy habits over time. As you've learned, simply being outside has significant impacts on your mood and health. And when the brain finds something that makes it feel good, it seeks out more of it! This positive reinforcement can turn what was once a quick walk, twice a week, into a daily practice of beneficial movement. The hardest part of nurturing active routines is just starting, and getting out of the stagnant, recycled air you've been breathing indoors and taking some deep breaths in the warm sunshine is enough to kickstart your brain to favor outdoor movement over indoor sluggishness.
Nature is an Amazing Stress-Reliever
Getting outdoors in any location has long-term benefits. But if you also happen to find yourself in a particularly picturesque setting, surrounded by nature in all its tree-filled, babbling brook-lined, bird-chirping glory, you'll experience an even greater benefit. Nature inspires calm and lowers stress-inducing hormones while improving our self-esteem. Awesome news as the blooming flowers of springtime begin to make their appearances! We, of course, encourage you to get outside no matter where you are, but if you happen to have a hiking trail nearby, you're ahead of the game!
You'll Meet Some Friends
You'll never love thy neighbor if you don't know thy neighbor. Gone are the days when the folks next door welcomed you to the community by ringing your doorbell, casserole in-hand. If you want to build a community nowadays, you have to make sure you're an active part of it. Exploring your neighborhood during walks, runs, and bike rides will allow you to encounter the very people you share your world with. It may start out as a quick wave and smile as you pass by (especially as we continue to socially distance), but polite small talk isn't far behind. And before you know it, you've made yourself a friend! Perhaps even one you can take along with you on your daily outdoor workout!
No matter how you decide to spend your time outside, make it a priority. Whether you're walking, gardening, cycling, or rollerblading, you'll reap all of the benefits we've touched on here. Your couch won't miss you. And the good news is that you don't have to feel disconnected from your world, even when you're taking time for yourself. Armpocket armbands are the ultimate accessory when it comes to keeping your phone close and fully protected while you're enjoying your outdoor activity of choice. Listen to some tunes while planting tulips or stream a podcast while you jog. Just get out there and enjoy the gorgeous spring weather and the endless advantages it brings!