Since it is the first official day of summer, talking about spending time outdoors seems, well, natural. Spending time at the pool, the lake, camping, or just grilling in the back yard are all special experiences. Trying to articulate these experiences to the uninitiated is a daunting task. Much like taking a photo of a beautiful landscape, justice cannot be done until you see or experience it yourself.
So, you need some motivation to get outside? Here are a few scientifically backed benefits to put you in gear.
1. Vitamin D
This is probably the most obvious reason to get outside. Getting enough of this hormone (that’s right, it’s a hormone) is essential to maintaining a healthy immune system. The individuals who don’t get enough Vitamin D are more likely to suffer from diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, and osteoporosis. On the flip side, getting enough Vitamin D has been linked to the prevention of auto immune disorders, heart disease, and diabetes. Basically, if you want your body to function properly, get outside.
BONUS TIP: a light tan has the possibility of making you more attractive.
2. Eye Health
This is a biggie. Not only can it lead to prevention of Computer Vision Syndrome, which is the term used to describe eye problems caused by staring at a screen close to your face for prolonged periods, but it can be the solution to Nearsightedness. A 2007 study found that, “among American children… those who spent at least two hours per day outdoors were four times less likely to be nearsighted than those who spent less than one hour per day outside.”
3. Improved Sleep
I know I am not the only person that could use this benefit. Our sleep patterns are regulated by an internal body clock called the circadian rhythm. Our circadian rhythms are naturally tied to the sun’s schedule. Spending too much time inside, away from natural light, can alter these rhythms and disrupt our sleep patterns.
Other benefits of being outside include clean air, exercise, and improved psychological health. Next time someone tells you to get some “fresh air,” don’t think of it as them subtly telling you to go away. Think of them as being concerned about your health and well-being.