Is more time outdoors the upside of restrictions on indoor gatherings?
After weeks of reduced access to outdoor activities, the easing of lockdown restrictions has led all of us to make the most of the great outdoors. With indoor gatherings still restricted and the risk of virus transmission significantly lower outdoors, outside is the place to be.
For many of us, this will mean far more time spent outside than before the lockdown began. Children and adults alike spend less time outside nowadays than we did a generation ago. When we stay indoors for long periods, we reduce our exposure to natural daylight, breathe in recycled air and become more sedentary. So whether it’s your garden, a beer garden or a walk in the woods, let’s get outside and reap the rewards.
What are the benefits of spending more time outside?
Sunlight boosts Vitamin D intake
Vitamin D is essential in order to maintain a healthy immune system. It is also vital for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. We receive very little vitamin D from our diets, it comes almost entirely from exposure to sunlight. Spending time outside each day will provide a big boost to your vitamin D levels. According to the NHS, from early April to the end of September, the majority of people in the UK should be able to get all the vitamin D they need from sunlight on their skin.
Natural light improves sleep and mood
Daylight has a huge impact on the circadian rhythm of your body, helping to regulate sleep and wakefulness and leading to a better night’s sleep. Artificial light on the other hand can disturb your body’s natural rhythms and trick your body into keeping you awake at night. Natural light is also shown to have a positive effect on mood and general wellbeing.
Nature is good for your mental health
According to mental health charity Mind, spending time amongst nature is not only good for your physical wellbeing but it can also improve your mental health. Spending time outdoors in green spaces can help you feel more relaxed, reduce feelings of stress or anger and improve your mood. Outdoor activities are generally more active as well and any improvements to your physical health will have a knock-on effect on your emotional wellbeing.
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