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The Outdoors Are Your Key to Good Health

By Genevieve Smith

Feeling a little sluggish lately? Muster the energy to get outside -- studies show it’s good for you. From immediate benefits to the long game play, getting out in the open will improve your health. Whether it’s exploring a new town, hiking, or just going for a stroll down the street, getting out there is an investment in your future. According Harvard Medical School, there are longterm health benefits to getting outside.

You raise Vitamin D levels - Sunlight plus skin catalyzes a reaction that produces mood-boosting Vitamin D. The vitamin is connected to reduced risk of osteoporosis, cancer, feelings of depression, and heart attacks.

You’ll move more -  Getting outdoors is typically not followed up by inertia. Keep the couch for activities like surfing the interwebs. When you get outdoors, you tend to move more, walking from one spot to the next, exploring and engaging in your surroundings.

You’ll feel happier - Natural light is a proven mood booster. Get in the middle of it. Plus, all that moving around is found to help people relax and reduce tension.

You’ll feel more focused - The outdoors help children with ADHD concentrate better, studies show. Find your concentration refined after a few hours of moving and grooving in the sun. Whether you seek exercise, a sunbathing session, or checking out a new part of the city, your mind finds relief from the release of endorphins associated with these behaviors. In addition, engaging with a new place often offers perspective to things that are acting as stressors and distractions.  

Your immune system may receive a jolt - Studies have found that exposure to natural light and viewing vegetation increases the recovery time of injured patients. These studies hold enough clout that some hospitals have changed their interior design to mimic more of the outdoors while allowing for large windows that let in a flood of natural light and lush views.

Getting outside is good for everyone. You reduce stress, invest in bone health, ward off depression, and engage in the community. If sustaining an injury, take it easy with a gentle stroll or even half an hour of sunbathing during off-peak sunlight hours (avoid the sun 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., when its rays are most intense). Find relief from the daily grind and your typical set of worries by getting out into a new part of your neighborhood, city, or even state. The outdoors are the most free and natural resource available. Take it in, for your health.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mint Hill, N.C.


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