Step 5: Get outside!
Hand in hand with being active is getting outdoors. Sunlight is important to our health, just as important as nutrition and exercise as it provides us with essential vitamin D. Vitamin D helps with bone density and improve muscle weakness – it also aids with sleep, as sunlight exposure stimulates the production of melatonin (important for sleep regulation and in the fight against cancer.) Finally, sunlight makes us happy! It is a natural antidepressant and has positive effects on our mood.
It does not take much time in the sun to get these benefits: 4-10 minutes a day is often enough. Exercise caution while in the sun and be sure to protect yourself. Apply sunscreen, wear sunglasses, stay hydrated, and try not to spend too much time in direct sunlight. Vitamin D is important, but too much exposure to UVB rays can also cause skin cancers and premature aging of the skin.
If we make an effort to get outside, we are also just naturally more active – walking, hiking and other physical activities. Walking about outdoors is also a great stress reliever. Our homes and offices can also cause health problems with indoor pollution: insulation traps respiratory irritants such as gases, residues, fumes, smoke, dust. Air conditioning can also irritate the throat. Getting outdoors give us that much needed breath of fresh air.
List of outdoor activities:
- Try walking 30 minutes everyday
- Drive less, and walk and climb more
- Instead of driving try biking. Go for hikes
- Take a Hikes in the nature and your time
- On weekends take a Picnic in the Park
- Throw the Frisbee around
- Cycle about, Or rollerblading
- Join a soccer, baseball or softball team
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