When it comes to wellness advice, you could do worse than to check in with the resident health experts at Harvard University. Here are some reasons why getting outdoors this season can be great for physical and mental health, according to the writers of the Harvard Health Letter:
1. Sunlight boosts Vitamin D. Of course, sunlight should be taken in moderation (SPF 90, anyone?). But the right amount of sunlight exposure can start the creation of Vitamin D the body, which helps to fight conditions including osteoporosis, anxiety, and heart attacks.
2. Sunlight means more exercise. You have to leave the house first… but once you decide to abandon the stasis of indoors to experience a sunny day, you’re much more likely to spend more time “walking and doing other things that put the body in motion.”
3. Sunlight can make you happy. Exposure to natural light has been consistently shown to boost people’s moods. Also, each time you stand outside on a bright day you’ll be reminded that winter is done for another season – making way for the decidedly happier spring and summer landscapes of beaches, gardens, and parks.
4. Sunlight can help you focus. According to Harvard, some studies have indicated improvements in individuals with attention deficit disorder when they worked in outdoors environments.
5. Sunlight can help healing. From the Health Letter – “In one study, people recovering from spinal surgery experienced less pain and stress and took fewer pain medications when they were exposed to natural light. An older study showed that the view out the window (trees vs. a brick wall) helped recovery in the hospital.”
There you go – the big bright yellow thing in the sky is good for you! As the sun hangs around longer each day and temperatures rise to springtime norms, make sure to get outdoors and play whenever possible.