Most of us spend the vast majority of our time indoors. We work indoors, we socialize indoors, we even exercise indoors. On average, Americans spend less than one hour per day outdoors most days of the week. Aside from the peripheral psychological issues that come from such an artificial existence, more tangible physical detriments result from rarely being outside as well. The majority of Americans suffer from Vitamin D deficiency, which not only can cause immediate health problems such as chronic fatigue and depression but can also lead to more serious diseases later in life. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight. Also, a general sense of wellness comes from getting fresh air.
The solution is simple. Get outside. Even if it means only taking a couple of 10 minute walks outside per day you’ll benefit. Or take it one step further. Instead of hitting the treadmill, go for a jog outside. Take your kids to the playground. I know that, after a long day of work it’s difficult to motivate yourself to do so, but the double benefit of getting outside and bonding with your kids will do wonders for your mental and physical well being.
And if it’s cold outside, bundle up. If you don’t like wearing lots of thick clothes, most sporting goods stores sell terrific lightweight outfits that will keep you warm without making you feel like the Michelin Man.
Here is a sample list of the health benefits of sunlight as written by Dr. Michael Murray. Moderate exposure to sunlight may reduce the risk of some cancers, can reduce the appearance of psoriasis, lowers the chances of depression and can help reduce sleep disorders.
So get outside and feel great today, and for the rest of your life.
~ Phil Silberman – NASM, CGFI
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