Spring is here – hopefully to stay this time. It was a long, chilly spring and New England Cabin Fever is at an all-time high. However, we here at Masiello Employment Services have a cure for shaking off the wintertime blues – get outside! There’s no better food for the soul than fresh air and a little mother nature.
Here are five good reasons to take advantage of the beautiful backyards and forests here in the Monadnock Region, a perfect excuse to stretch your legs and breathe in some of that fresh, clean New Hampshire and Vermont air.
Get Some Vitamin D
If you have ever felt the effects of winter on your mood, you are probably experiencing a lack of active Vitamin D in your body. The sun activates Vitamin D so it can do its thing – and we New Englanders do not get much of it. With short days and limited sunlight in wintertime, coupled with any outdoors exposure limited by multiple layers of winter clothing, it is difficult to get the sun’s activating rays on our skin.
Get Your Heart Pumping
Even if you are a proverbial gym rat, the outdoors is the ultimate physical exercise facilitator. You can run, hike, play sports, do yoga or even partake in the never-ending cycle of yard work. Just get outside, get your blood flowing, and feel the warm sunshine recharging your energy and your mood. Physical activity has been shown to elevate happiness, so get outside and do something.
And we do not mean more cold! Being outdoors has been shown to decrease stress, something practically every human being could use. There is some science behind this. Studies have shown that nature walks, hiking through a forest, and spending time in green spaces can help to put the mind at ease – into a sort of meditative state. They have even shown that time outdoors can show demonstrative brain changes on EEG (electroencephalography) recordings. Being outdoors is thought to reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol, decreasing stress and anxiety levels. Also, a healthy outdoors lifestyle may lower blood pressure and heart rate, minimize fatigue and improve your mood as suggested above.
Increase Your Concentration
The science is not all in, but children, particularly those with conditions like hyperactivity or ADHD, seem more relaxed and focused after spending time outdoors. Perhaps it is our instincts, or maybe mother nature is a biological stress reliever, but most folks will agree – nothing beats inner peace like a day spent outdoors: canoeing on a pond, walking alongside a lake, or hiking to the top of a mountain.
Yes, the outdoors really is good for you. Some studies have shown that health conditions may improve with outdoor exposure – which means less medication and a better immune system. So, if you are fighting any mild ache, pain or ailment, try a little vitamin ‘outside’ to get you back on the road to a healthy you. It is no replacement for a doctor, but it cannot hurt.
So, Get Outside!
Make it a point to enjoy the day, each day, and you will likely see benefits at home, at work, and in your relationships. As your body returns to life after a long, cold winter, you will find everything gets better when you throw in a little outdoors time. Try it and let us know how it goes!