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4 Reasons to Spend More Time Outside

By Paul Rothbart

Many people work indoors and so they spend a good portion of each day in an office or other inside space. Add in meals, household chores, sleep, and other daily indoor activities and you may find yourself spending very little time outside. Riding in a car doesn't count. It's not an ideal situation because there are many benefits to being outside. Here are some reasons to get out more often.

Vitamin D

In 2008, a group of researchers reported that Vitamin D deficiency is now a pandemic. It can be difficult to get sufficient quantities of this essential nutrient from food. The best source of Vitamin D is sunlight, which causes the skin to manufacture it. The potential risks of Vitamin D deficiency are varied and dangerous. An increased risk of depression, cancer, and cardiovascular disease have all been linked to not get enough of the vitamin. It may also increase the risk of Alzheimer's and cause pregnancy complications. 

Improved Sleep

The body's natural circadian rhythm is regulated by sunlight. Lack of exposure to sunlight can interfere with your rhythm and interfere with sleep. A study conducted at the St. Louis University School of Medicine found that 30-60 minutes of direct sunlight can improve sleep patterns significantly. Spending time in the sun helps the body produce melatonin, a hormone that is important for sleep. 

Less Stress

Many people have found that going for a walk helps deal with stressful situations. Research has proved this. A study conducted in 2009 found that people experienced lower levels of stress after going on a walk in nature. Walking through a park or green area with many trees is even better. This can put the brain into a meditative state and reduce the production of the stress hormone cortisol. When things get tense, try getting outside for a walk.

Eye Health

Being indoors constantly can be harmful to vision. It is especially bad when those hours are spent looking at a screen. Getting outside allows the eyes to focus on distant objects, exercising different muscles, and letting the eyes relax. There is a considerable amount of research that has found that children especially are more prone to near-sightedness if they spend too much time indoors. Getting outside more can also reduce the risk of dry eye syndrome.

It's called the great outdoors for a reason. Spending some time outside each day has some wonderful benefits for your mental and physical health. Now, get up from your computer and go out.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Park City, Utah

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