It was Friday afternoon, late October. The sun was shining and it was 62 degrees outside.
My day started like most of the others: up before dawn, unload the dishwasher, start a load of laundry, wipe up a mess or two, feed little one and critters and then out the door. Appointments, drop-offs and deliveries, errands, grocery shopping, work and fixing meals will gobble up the rest of the day.
Somewhere after 10:30, but much closer to midnight, I expect to fall into bed. And then the day will be gone.
Then I heard that magical sound, the giggling and squeals of laughter from outside. Did I mention the sun was shining on this beautiful fall day?
There are amazing health benefits that come with spending time outdoors. Just 15 minutes walking into the sun boosts the immune system. Why? Because you are soaking up Vitamin D, baby! Sunshine is good for the soul.
I have a goal to spend at least 15 minutes outdoors each day. Some days I have to force myself to take a work break and go for a brisk walk. If the beagles get lucky, they take me on a walk. With our toddler there is always fun waiting outside.
Sunlight has other health benefits. It’s been shown to improve mood and aid in fighting depression. It also helps improve the quality of sleep by normalizing your internal clock and balancing out hormonal function. Who doesn’t need that?
Spending some time outside is a great way to get a little exercise too. We like to go on bike rides through the neighborhood. It makes us look social. Plus, we can see what our neighbors are up to!
And here’s something you might not have heard about: negative ions. Negative ions are commonly found in natural settings in greater numbers than positive ions. These little elements of science are generated by moving water – rivers, waterfalls, rainstorms, crashing waves, even showers and fountains. In other words, OUTSIDE! These ions directly impact health by improving mood, decreasing stress and improving breathing.
Don’t wait until the sun goes down and miss out on the outdoors. Soak up the sun. Jump in the leaves. Play tag with your kids. There will be some not-so-dirty socks that will work for tomorrow. Dinner will be just as tasty. You’ll have fun and feel better.
A few ideas to get you outdoors:
Clean flower beds
Walk your dog (or borrow the neighbor’s!)
Go for a bike ride
Take a nature walk
Play in the yard – run, jump, crawl, climb a tree
Go play in the rain and jump in puddles
The sun is shining and it’s 62 degrees outside. I’ll see ya later.
LeAnna Thomas is a health-recovery, athletic performance and anti-aging specialist. To connect with her, visit her website or email firstname.lastname@example.org