As we roll into April you can clearly tell that Spring has sprung. Flowers start to bloom, the temperatures rise, and the grass is greener which lends itself to spending more time and outdoors. Time spent outdoors not only lends itself to happier moods but also a great opportunity for daily physical activity.
As an elementary student, outdoor recesses was a scheduled part of the day. As we get older, finding time to spend outdoors becomes harder and hader. As adults, we often find ourselves emerged in work which for most, is situated at a desk and in front of a computer. However, research shows that implementing breaks, especially those that encourage exposure to nature and physical activity, actually makes us more productive during the work day.
Studies have shown that incorporating physical activity in the outdoors is more beneficial to your physical and mental health than indoor physical activity. The fat-soluble vitamin D from the sun helps regulate calcium and phosphorus levels in your body, therefore promoting healthy bones. Exposure to sunlight also boosts immunity and helps ease anxiety or depression. With all of the benefits that the sun can give us through Vitamin D, it is super important to protect your skin from harmful exposure to ultraviolet rays. Excessive exposure to sunlight and getting sunburn can lead to skin cancer. To protect yourself from this, find a sunscreen suitable for your skin type and always reapply if you are outside for extended period of time, every 1-2 hours! Studies have shown that sunscreen does not affect the amount of vitamin D absorbed into your body, contrary to popular belief, so do not be afraid to use it. Vitamin D is beneficial in many ways, but too much can be toxic, so just be sure to optimize your maximum of 3-4 hours in sunlight!
As the sun starts to come out more and the days get warmer, take into consideration the amazing benefits that the outdoors can have. Even 30 minutes of your day for a week can make all the difference. The next time you see yourself needing a break, consider taking your dog for a walk or running and listening to music. Take as much time to enjoy yourself as much as you enjoy the outdoors.