Our April Gym Challenge is to get outside for at least 15 minutes EVERY DAY! Spring is here, which means the weather is starting to break, the days are longer, and there are more warm, sunny days in our future! It’s the perfect time to start getting in the habit of spending time outside.☀️
There are many health benefits that come from spending time outside:
1. The sunshine is our best source of vitamin D. Vitamin D improves just about everything when it comes to health, including mood, energy, fat loss, stress reduction, mental and physical performance, and immunity.
2. You’re usually moving when you’re outside. Whether you’re gardening, going for a walk, or playing a game, regular outdoor movement is a great way to keep your joints feeling healthy and pain-free.
3. You’re looking beyond your phone/computer/TV when you’re outside. It’s no secret that we spend too much time on screens these days. One of the big areas this hurts is our vision. We need to exercise our eye muscles just like any other muscle in the body. By improving your peripheral vision, your ability to focus near and far, your ability to process and interpret what you’re seeing quickly, you in turn improve your sports performance, improve your mental performance, move better, and decrease your joint pain.
4. Oftentimes outdoor activities are also social activities. Insufficient QUALITY social interaction has been shown to be linked to as many health detriments as SMOKING!
5. Outdoor time is great for stress relief. We all have chronic stress in our lives that are beyond our control. Spending time outside is one of the best ways to counteract the inevitable stress in our lives.
6. It helps you sleep better. One of the best ways to improve sleep is to regulate your circadian rhythm. Ideally, you should be awake and alert in the morning and then your energy should wind down as you approach bedtime. By getting sunlight early in the day, you set your circadian rhythm up for success.
7. Spending time outside is a great way to “stack” healthy behaviors. Many people have trouble finding time for all of the behaviors they need to change. By just getting outside, you are accomplishing all of these healthy behaviors listed above at once!