Go Outside! (For your health)

Recent studies by University of Michigan Psychology and Harvard Medical School reveal that spending time outdoors improves your health both physically and mentally!

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Your Vitamin D levels rise: Sunlight catalyzes the production and activation of vitamin D in your skin.  Vitamin D encourages bone strength by aiding your body’s absorption of calcium.  This vitamin also helps fight various ailments from osteoporosis, to depression, to cancer.  

You’re likely to increase your exercise: While exercise isn’t guaranteed when we go outside, we certainly spend most of our indoor time stationary on the computer or couch.  When children go outside, they have plenty of room and are encouraged play sports and run around.

You’ll be happy: Genuine sunlight perceived through your optic nerve triggers your brain to produce serotonin–a “good mood” hormone.  

You’ll be more focused: Any interaction with nature improves focus or alleviate mental fatigue later in the day.  The psychology department at U of Michigan discovered memory and attention improve by 20 percent after subjects spent an hour outdoors.

Your wounds may heal faster: After being exposed to sunlight in Harvard’s study, people recovering from spinal surgery experienced less pain.  About a hundred years prior it was speculated that hospital patients recovered faster when they had a view of nature through their windows.

TAKE A HIKE

1 Comments

  1. that sunlight preudcos 5-10 isomers of vitamin D (with unknown functions) in the skin, while supplements only supply one. But those statements weren’t referenced that I could find, so I’m left taking his word for it. He also talks about the benefits of sunlight besides vitamin D (circadian rhythm, mood). I think there’s something to that. I definitely feel better getting sunlight in the summertime than taking supplements in the winter. I will say that I haven’t been sick in a long time since I’ve been supplementing D in the winter. I can be around sick people, share food, kiss my girlfriend, etc. and I never get sick anymore. It seems like the people around me are getting sick every 2 months or so during the Seattle winters. I was taking 2-3,000 IU D3 per day, and a test at the end of spring showed 51 ng/mL. But I’m also constantly tweaking my diet, so again I can’t be sure it’s the D.

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