Staying safe at home is more important than ever, especially since scientists believe the second wave of the COVID-19 virus is going to happen around November. One of the many problems with this is the fact that going outside is imperative to our physical health and emotional wellbeing. Luckily, there are still activities you can do outside, and spending time outside is the perfect time to get away from your phones and computers, as well as a great way to help you balance your physical health and work life. Read below to learn the physical and mental benefits that can occur when you make the effort to spend more time outside.
Mental Health Benefits:
Staying inside too much can have a negative impact on your mental health, so much so that seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is listed in the DSM-5 as a “Major Depressive Disorder with Seasonal Pattern,” as said by the American Psychiatric Association. This disorder can occur during the seasons in which there is minimal sunlight and limited opportunities to go outside. For those of us in areas closer to the equator, getting sunlight is still an option – we just have to look for more creative ways to get outside. If daylight savings only leaves few windows of sunlight left in your day, be sure to capitalize on capturing some time outside during your free days or potentially rescheduling your walks in the morning when the sun is out. These little choices will make a world of difference when enhancing your mood and avoiding the effects of SAD.
You can go outside for just about anything, but we do recommend that you try to incorporate sun and nature in your outside activities, since according to Harvard Health, just being outdoors reduces anxiety, depression, and stress because of the therapeutic nature of being outside.
We all know that we receive a nice dose of vitamin D when we go outside, but what are the benefits of vitamin D? According to Healthline, vitamin D is critical for bone health and immune system functioning, and it can even help with depression. Furthermore, having a healthy amount of vitamin D can boost your immune system, and may lead to less severe symptoms if you contract COVID-19. While vitamin supplements can be beneficial, we do recommend doing your best to get outside if possible, because being outside has so many other benefits aside from being a source of vitamin D.
The quality and quantity of sleep a person has every night greatly impacts their health, and according to WebMD, being outdoors can improve your sleep. This is because our bodies’ internal clocks are designed to work in accordance with the circadian cycle, which is the natural daylight cycle. Improved quality of sleep can have extreme health benefits such as improved metabolism, concentration, immune function, and social interactions.
The physical and mental benefits of spending more time outside are mostly interchangeable, because physical and mental health greatly influence each other. We recommend spending more time in the sun because making this change in your daily routine can potentially improve your quality of life.
Are you being affected by poor mental, emotional, or physical health, and feel the need to seek non-emergency medical attention? Healthpointe has a wide range of specialties from psychological treatments to orthopedic care, and we can find the right fit of care for you. To make an appointment, call (888) 824-5580, or click here to schedule.