No matter where you live or what your lifestyle is, you probably enjoy spending some time outside. Being outside offers so many options that staying indoors just does not, and adds more variety to what would be an otherwise boring day. Even just going on a walk at the end of a long workday can be good for your mental and physical health.
When people think of being outdoors, they probably equate that with summer a lot of the time. Not only is the weather in the summer the most conducive to being outside, but people usually have more free time to plan events like bonfires, cookouts, vacations, and most importantly, days on the water.
Thankfully, being outside is not only super enjoyable but also provides a lot of health benefits that will boost your lifestyle and keep you feeling better year round.
One of the most obvious benefits that comes from being outside is exposure to sunlight. However, just like everything else, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing, so make sure you wear sunscreen! Health benefits of sun exposure include:
Vitamin D: when sunlight hits your skin, it triggers the body’s production of vitamin D which is a crucial ingredient for your overall health. It can protect against inflammation, it lowers your high blood pressure and helps your muscles perform better and become stronger.
Weight loss: sun exposure can also lower risk of Type 2 diabetes. Vitamin D is vital in your body’s natural production of insulin, so the more vitamin D your body gets, the more likely you are to see improvement in fasting glucose levels and insulin production.
Better sleep: lounging outdoors can actually improve your sleep because sunlight has been linked to better sleep habits. The sunlight directly affects your brain’s pineal gland, the gland that produces melatonin and improves sleep quality.
Better exercise: being outside in the sunlight improves your exercise quality and also gives you more opportunity to exercise in different ways. You can’t exactly swim inside, and nothing beats the feeling of the breeze when you bike down a hill or run through a cool part of the park.
Being outside also promotes exposure to fresh air which can boost your immune system and also boosts your digestive system, improving how much nutrition your body gets from its food.
In addition to having several noticeable effects on the body, being outside and spending time in the sun can have huge positive impacts on your mental health and cognitive function as well. Some of the most common are:
Lessened depression: lack of sun exposure has been associated with a drop in serotonin, leading to higher depression. So, get more sunlight and you may notice a subtle boost in your serotonin production; sunlight hitting your retina actually triggers the release of serotonin.
Lessened anxiety: being outside in wide open spaces experiencing nature can also lead to a drop in anxiety. Being able to just breathe may have a positive effect, and reduced sunlight has been linked with anxiety-related disorders.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): People who suffer from SAD experience depression based on seasonal changes, and lack of sunlight can have a huge impact on this form of depression.
How to Get Sunlight This Summer
So now that you know how beneficial sunlight can be to your physical and mental health, what are some good ways to soak up its rays this summer? Well, lots of people associate sunlight and summer with time on the water. Being out at the pool or on a beach somewhere just enjoying the water and the weather can be an excellent way to expose yourself to beneficial sunlight and lounge around.
And yeah, you could just get a cute beach towel and spread out somewhere with your favorite book and some good music, or you could try something wildly different. Imagine combining lounging and relaxing with being out on the water: get something like a giant flamingo pool float and get out there!
Pool floats are kind of the best of both worlds because you can relax and enjoy the water without the pressure of having to swim. So if you have already gotten all the exercise you need and you just want to lounge around, check out a pool float that will allow you to express your personality and feel good about your favorite pastime of being outside.
Being outside has so many benefits, and no matter what your lifestyle is, you can give yourself the best chance to become a better version of yourself if you incorporate more outdoor hours into your week. Whether you choose to exercise or just need a way to lounge around and soak up the sun, get outside. And if you are feeling particularly adventurous, grab a pool float and let the water carry you where it wants to.
Although getting sun is important, you may want to consider shade methods for your outdoor area such as an umbrella or folding arm awnings.