By Jamie Jones
Senior Account Executive, Benefits
Proper wellness is important for all seasons, but with warmer months approaching there are plenty of reasons to get outside and enjoy the welcoming weather. “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health all agree that we need at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity every day. The good news is that you don’t have to work out in a gym to get in shape. Outdoor exercises are just as effective, can be more fun, and have some appealing advantages.”
Simple activities such as standing, stretching, breathing, and walking can have an immediate calming effect for the body and mind. Besides the beautiful scenery, spending time outdoors can increase and restore mental energy, improve your mood, relieve stress, burn calories, and even boost your immune system. In addition to its primary benefits, research suggests that getting outside and experiencing natural surroundings not only makes you feel good but is linked to your overall well-being. Just as your phone needs to recharge after constant use, so does your brain and body. Taking scheduled breaks at work is so important. A healthy body is a happy body!
When you adopt daily small habits you will begin to see the much-needed benefits. Experiencing nature and the outdoors helps restore your mind from mental exhaustion, contributing to improved performance and intellectual development. The benefit from fresh air elevates a stagnant frame of mind by increasing skin exposure and contact to natural sunlight and vitamin D. Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin” has recently been proven to affect everything from cancer development to mental health. Many Americans are not getting sufficient vitamin D from spending too much time indoors. The more you absorb vitamin D through your skin from outside, the better your body is able to absorb it. Since vitamin D plays such a vital role and has significant purpose to overall health, getting an adequate amount of the vitamin is essential for growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as aiding in fighting against certain illnesses.
Replacing sedentary hobbies with active ones is a step in the right direction to better wellness and increased energy. If you are looking for fun, low-key, outdoor activities that also burn calories, here are a few hobbies that are worth considering: biking, gardening, kayaking, swimming, hiking, walking, and running. You might even be able to convince some friends or coworkers to join you on a walk during your lunch break!
Making it a goal and priority to get outside not only enhances the physical aspects of exercising, but also supports and improves the emotional and mental mindset capabilities as well. Spending less time in front of the computer, iPad, and television allows more time to partake in outdoor activities that put your body in physical motion. With the beautiful weather on its way, there are more reasons now than ever to get outside and enjoy it!