While many people become couch potatoes in the winter, you should still spend time outside as you will benefit in at least six ways.
1- Get Moving
Many people pack on extra pounds during the winter. It is extremely easy with the winter holidays. If you do not want those pounds showing up around your waist and hips, you still need to keep moving. Furthermore, exercise releases endorphins into your bloodstream, which helps you feel better. Your heart, lungs, and other vital organs will keep working better when you exercise regularly.
2- Get a Dose of Vitamin D
Even in the winter, your body needs Vitamin D. The best way to get it is to go outside. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorous, which is key to keeping your bones healthy. Furthermore, Vitamin D can help stop cancer cells from growing. If winter weather has inflamed your joints, ensure you are getting enough Vitamin D as it is essential to producing IL-10, an anti-inflammatory cytokine, so your joints will move better. Getting enough Vitamin D may also help your body fend off the winter cold and flu germs.
3- Practice Mindfulness
For many people, winter is a busy time of year. Therefore, it is essential to be mindful instead of getting caught up in life’s rat races. Sitting outside in a beautifully designed rooftop garden or on a patio is a great place to give yourself time to relax. Spending five or 10 minutes there may help you keep stress at bay.
If you feel yourself becoming depressed in the winter, going outside while being mindful can help as nature provides so many gorgeous settings to enjoy.
4- Enhances Sleep
Scientists have proven that going outside, especially in the early morning hours, is a great way to get a good night’s sleep. Exposing yourself to light helps your body regulate circadian rhythm to know when it should be awake and asleep. The retina takes in light, which sends signals to the brain that it needs to be alert. Then, the brain sends messages to the rest of the body that it is time to be awake. When the retina stops seeing the light, the body starts feeling sleepy.
While more research is needed, scientists also believe that going outside in the daylight may be essential to producing melatonin, a hormone that helps you feel drowsy at night. As its level naturally rises, you will fall asleep and stay there until morning, when melatonin levels begin to drop.
5- Improves Memory
Researchers at the University of Michigan found that going outside for an hour improved memory by 20 percent. The team found that people’s memory improved more when they surrounded themselves with nature, such as in an attractively designed garden or their attractively landscaped backyard.
Winter weather should not stop you from going outside. Your health and mental attitude will improve when you get a few minutes of fresh air daily. Encourage yourself to follow this advice by creating a beautiful area near your home to enjoy in the wintertime.