Summertime is here! It’s time for Brain Warriors to dip your toes in the pool, grab a good book, and get outside. Here are four health benefits of summer:
1. Vacations help you de-stress and re-energize.
Everybody loves a summer vacay. And more and more research is showing that taking a break is good for you. It’s no surprise that taking time to unwind and get away from daily stressors eases stress and boosts your mood. Summer breaks also boost your energy level and ramp up your motivation when you return to work. A survey of 414 travelers revealed that taking a low-stress trip can boost energy levels. In this survey 94 percent of people came back with as much or more energy, and 55 percent returned to work with a boost in energy. In a Psychology Today article, 64 percent of people said that after a vacation they returned to work feeling refreshed and excited. Going on vacation doesn’t have to break the bank. You can do something simple. We love taking road trips and camping along the coast or renting a cabin.
2. Get free vitamin D.
Getting outside during the summer can give you a healthy dose of the “sunshine vitamin.” Best known for building bones and boosting the immune system, vitamin D is essential for brain health, mood, memory, and weight. Most people in America could use a boost in vitamin D levels. Vitamin D insufficiency is characterized as having a blood level of 10-30 ng/milliliter of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with depression, autism, psychosis, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. Spending just 15 to 20 minutes in the sun a few times a week in the summer can bump up your vitamin D levels. Just remember to apply a natural sunscreen after that.
3. Spend more time in nature.
Heading to the great outdoors is one of the best things about summer. Another study found that spending just 30 minutes in nature every week lowers the risk of depression and high blood pressure. Don’t hide indoors this summer. Be sure to get out to a beach, lake, river, hiking trail, or other natural setting this season. Even when we are in urban settings like Los Angeles or Washington D.C., we find beautiful state parks and hiking trails and consciously make time to get away from the stress of the city for some fresh air and exercise.
4. Work up a sweat.
The skin is one of the major organs of elimination and sweating helps usher toxins out of your body. Unfortunately, most of us block our pores from performing this important task by using antiperspirant. If you’re heading outside to go for a run or a bike ride, you may want to forego the antiperspirant to allow your body to do what it’s intended to do naturally. Just be sure to take a shower ASAP when you get home if you’re expecting a hug from someone you love. If you just can’t stand your own body odor look for one of the many natural deodorants on the market, but avoid anything that prevents perspiration.
If you want to get ready for summer, take a look at My Summer Must-Have List blog.