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Get a healthy boost by going outside

Fall is here. The beauty of the outdoors beckons you to put DOWN the gadgets and get outdoors. The good times outside are sadly an exception to the rule because most of us spend most of our time inside. It’s been studied to reveal that the average person in North America spends 90% of his or her life indoors, and as we get older, we become even more inclined not to venture out.

So, let’s talk about the benefits of getting and being outside which benefits our physical and mental health.  First, slather on the sunscreen. Take it easy; watch out for ticks, mosquitoes, and other creatures that might bite. Then enjoy this:

Your vitamin D levels rise. Sunlight hitting the skin begins a process that leads to the creation and activation of vitamin D. Studies suggest that this vitamin helps fight certain conditions, from osteoporosis and cancer to depression and heart attacks. Sure, limit sun exposure by not over doing it.

You’ll get more exercise. If you make getting outside a goal, that should mean less time in front of the television and computer and more time walking and doing other things that put the body in motion.

You’ll be happier. Light tends to elevate people’s mood, and there’s usually light available outside than in. Physical activity has been shown to help people relax and cheer up, so if being outside replaces inactive pursuits with active ones, it might also mean more smiles.

Your concentration will improve. Children with ADHD seem to focus better after being outdoors. It might be a stretch to say that applies to adults, but if you have trouble concentrating, outdoor activity may help.

You may heal faster. In one study, people recovering from spinal surgery experienced less pain and stress and took fewer pain medications when they were exposed to natural light. An older study showed that the view out the window (trees vs. a brick wall) helped recovery in the hospital.


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