Opt Outside – Enjoy the Benefits Sunshine
Holidays can cause a malfunction of our routines and lifestyle habits. A lot of food and sugar mixed with a lot of friends and family is great, but it often means more time indoors relaxing and entertaining. We think one really cool way to stay focused on our routines and healthy lifestyle is by joining the #OptOutside movement, put forth by REI four years ago and continuing to grow each year with involvement from individuals, organizations, nonprofits.
There are so many benefits of being outside. Research has shown, time spent in nature benefits your health and overall well being, especially by lowering stress levels and increasing moods. Spending time outdoors can also help reduce inflammation, fight fatigue, depression and anxiety, and increase focus.
A common deficiency among Americans is Vitamin D deficiency. Our body struggles if we don’t get enough Vitamin D, it can make us more tired, weaken our immune system, and even lead to osteoporosis. One way to get an increase in Vitamin D levels is to get outside and soak in the sunshine, this is a lot easier than taking supplements.
Sunshine may also help play a role in regulating hormones, specifically melatonin, which affects our sleep patterns and our circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm is also known as the sleep/wake cycle and is a natural and internal clock for our body and is controlled by an area of the bran that responds to light. If we spend too much time indoors and away from natural light, the circadian rhythm can be altered and disrupt sleep patterns. This can be recalibrated by early morning exposure to sunlight – go for an early morning hike or run, or bring your crossfit outdoors!
If you’re wanting to get outdoors this week, pack some leftovers and take the family out for an adventure outside!