As you get your patio ready for spending time on it, I just wanted to let you know some health benefits of being outside.
Research shows that we humans are now spending less time outdoors than at any other time in our history. We spend 93% of our time indoors. Concentrations of some indoor pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher than outdoors. That should be enough to get us started.
We get colds and flu more often in the Winter because we are inside more often, We are exposed to higher concentrations of indoor airborne pollutants including cold and flu viruses.
The first thing we need to do is walk out the door. That’s keeping it simple. Your body needs to be exposed to sunlight so that it can make Vitamin D. This doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of time in the sun. Just 5 to 15 minutes per day over 2 to 3 days a week should do it for this purpose.
Vitamin D helps us to sleep better and also to wake up feeling more refreshed. Research also shows that vitamin D may help in reducing your risk of multiple sclerosis and of developing heart disease. Research suggests that Vitamin D may play a role in your likelihood of developing the flu. Not too much effort here for a little expanded health benefit.
A number of scientists suggest that the health benefits of moderate sun exposure, may outweigh the risks. A group of researchers at the University of Edinburgh have found that as soon as sunlight touches the skin a compound called nitric oxide, that helps lower blood pressure, is released into the blood vessels. Lowering blood pressure helps lessen the chance for heart attacks and strokes.
During the process of your body manufacturing Vitamin D, upon your skin being exposed to sunlight, Vitamin D3, a fat soluble vitamin is formed. Emerging research indicates there is a direct correlation between bone density and Vitamin D3. Higher levels of D3 in your blood mean you are at less risk of developing fractures.
Moderate sun exposure is helpful for your immune system because white blood cell production is increased with sun exposure. White blood cells play a key role in disease and defending against infection.
Need some extra energy? One study suggests that being outside for just 20 minutes gives your brain an energy boost equivalent to one cup of coffee. And without a bathroom trip. It is thought by scientists that breathing in phytoncides—airborne chemicals produced by plants increases our levels of white blood cells further helping in fighting off disease and infection.
Natural scents from the outdoors, like those coming from your patio plants and flowers have been shown by research to make you feel calmer and relaxed. This could be just another motivator for getting us out on that patio a little more often
Want to get in a better mood and lessen your anxiety? Who doesn’t ? Some science shows that the smell of flowers like lavender and jasmine can help with this.
Fresh air helps the airways of your lungs to more fully dilate, improving the action of cleansing your lungs. Fresh air also helps to send plenty of oxygen to the blood. Having enough oxygen to the brain is vital for brain function and as a result the whole body itself.
Just being outside in visually pleasant natural surroundings can have a soothing effect. Having pleasant things such as your water gardens, flowers or other natural surroundings to focus on help distract us from negative thinking and keep our thoughts less filled with worry.
Calming outdoor sounds or even silence can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and blood pressure. Researchers have found that the sound of a breeze through the trees or the light sound of a rushing brook can make physical changes to our mind and body and help us to relax.
Let us not leave touch out of this conversation. On a warm summer day nothing is quite as refreshing and delightful to feel as a light breeze blowing across our skin instantly restoring our comfort.
Inside vs. out
Sick Building Syndrome is a term used in the description of symptoms experienced by the occupants of large commercial buildings. These folks are generally healthy and when removed from the building for an extended time, display diminished symptoms. These symptoms include headache, nausea, itching skin, difficulty in concentration and others.
A growing body of evidence has indicated that the air pollution levels in our homes can be much more polluted than outdoor air. Given that we spend so much of our time indoors this could because for concern. So there are obviously health benefits of being outside in this instance.
Pollutant sources run the gamut from cleaning products to combustion of fuels like oil, gas and wood, Although the most prudent step is to remove the sources as much as possible. More time outside is definitely a positive.
Add it all up
Recent events with exposure to viruses make it clear that any way of improving our bodies ability to fighting them off will be a welcome component to our arsenal. If bolstering our immune system can be accomplished by more exposure to the outside, then what more persuasion do you need to spend some more time on your patio.
It doesn’t have to be totally sedate. Maybe you could add a work out area. Doing your work out outside would give you the increased benefit of more oxygen intake and lung cleansing among others. Either way I’m sure once you move it outside a few times you will find it increasingly difficult to stay away.
Just remember, it only takes a bit of exposure. The studies indicate five to fifteen minutes for three to five times per week. What other type of recreation can claim such benefits for such little effort?
Thanks so much for taking the time to review this article. Please check back for more topics in the future and by all means leave comment or ask a question below.