We know that spending time outdoors is good for us but how many of us actually understand the far-reaching implications of a little fresh air and sunshine? The results of countless studies point to the same thing – getting outside benefits us physically, mentally and emotionally. Here is our Top 10 list of reasons why we hope you get outside this summer!
There’s less pollution
We hear occasional air quality warnings that may lead us to believe outdoor air is bad for us…or certainly worse than indoor air. Generally speaking, however, indoor air is much more contaminated with pollutants. On account of carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, building materials, household and office products…the California Air Resources Board estimates that indoor pollution levels are 25-62 percent higher than outdoor levels. Give your lungs a break and breathe some fresh outdoor air!
Your stress level will decrease
That’s right. While there are a lot of ways you can combat stress, going for a walk outside reduces cortisol in the blood which decreases stress and anxiety. It also contributes to a decrease in blood pressure and helps stabilize an elevated heart rate.
You’re investing in your eyesight
Spending time indoors looking at things in close proximity (screens not excluded!), our eyes can become strained and dry. Children who spend too much time indoors can develop lifelong nearsightedness because their distance vision never gets the opportunity to fully develop. Spending time outdoors, however, gives our eyes a chance to relax and recover.
The sun gives good gifts: vitamin D
As of 2008, researchers reported that vitamin D deficiency is officially a pandemic. While we can certainly get some of this important vitamin from our foods, there is no better source than the sun. Fight cardiovascular disease, depression, Alzheimer’s, cancer and brittle bones among other conditions with a regular dose of good ol’ sunshine.
You’ll sleep better
Your body’s natural rhythms are largely dependent on daylight, specifically sunlight. If you’re having trouble sleeping, make it a priority to spend half an hour to an hour in the sunlight each day and you will notice a vast improvement in your sleep patterns.
Your brain loves it
A study out of the University of Michigan found a 20 percent improvement in short-term memory after participants walked in the park. The University of Illinois studied children diagnosed with ADHD and found that walking in “green areas” increased their focus as opposed to walking in non-green areas.
Your brain loves it – II
Serotonin, your body’s “happy” hormone, increases in relation to the amount of sun exposure you receive in a given day. Get outside and boost those good vibes!
Your energy level increases
Do you ever feel like you have more energy on days when you get outside? It’s probably not your imagination. Immersing yourself in nature is shown to increase energy levels. In fact, 90 percent of people report increased energy after spending time outdoors.
Your immune system will thank you
“Forest bathing” – a term popularized in Japanese culture – is the practice of walking among the trees. Enjoying time among both deciduous and coniferous trees can actually boost your immune system. How? When you inhale phytoncides from trees, your body increases the activity of killer cells which helps destroy pathogens and boost immunity.
Your inflammation levels drop
Your body’s natural response to injury and pathogens, inflammation can pose serious health risks. At high enough levels, inflammation is the precursor to many chronic diseases and disorders. Fortunately, we’re learning that in addition to boosting immunity, spending time in nature can boost the production of anti-cancer proteins. Studies show that these increased protein levels often remain elevated for up to 7 days after exposure!
Hoyt Exteriors wants you to enjoy a healthy, memorable summer! Let us design your dream deck so you can enjoy more time in the fresh air and sunshine. For more information about our deck-building services, visit the link on our website! Contact us for a quote or to get on our busy summer schedule!