Our overall wellness includes more than just the health of our bodies, but also the health of our mind and spirit. There are many ways we can improve the health of our mind and spirit such as practicing relaxation, reading, getting exercise and more. One practice that may be overlooked is getting outside to enjoy some fresh air and our surrounding environment. This can have a larger impact on our health than we may have originally thought.
Studies from Harvard Medical School show that spending time outdoors could help to decrease feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression in adults. But how much time outdoors is needed? Researchers recommend anywhere from 20-30 minutes per day, just 3 times a week. This can be accomplished with a walk around the neighborhood, during one’s lunch break, or at the local park with family members. This simple act has potential to make a difference for many people!
In addition, spending time outside during the day is a great way to naturally get some vitamin D from the sun. Americans tend to not get enough vitamin D through diet alone, and our bodies don’t produce as much of this vitamin as we age. This is where supplementation and the sun can help. While being mindful of wearing sunscreen while spending time outside for extended periods, it can be helpful to allow our skin to absorb sunlight during off-peak hours of the day. As we are in the thick of the summer season, remember that it’s important to take care of our bodies by getting outside to do activities such as hiking, bike riding, and swimming, as well as simply enjoying an afternoon in our own backyards.