Ah, can you feel it? Spring has sprung, and summer is upon us. June is officially known as Great Outdoors month, and rightfully so. Weather across the country is heating up, and it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy mother nature. As it turns out, when it comes to spending time outside, the benefits go far beyond the fresh air. Check out the reasons you should get out and about in the warm summer breeze, along with some ideas for you to try this summer.
It’s Good for Your Mental Health
If you’ve felt happier while being outside but you’re not sure why, there’s a simple explanation—it’s science. Being outdoors has been proven to boost your dopamine and endorphins, which help boost your mood. Even a small amount of time outside each day can help improve your mental health.
If you have kids home for the summer, getting outdoors can be twofold. First, it’s a great way to keep them occupied. Second, it can be great for everybody’s mental health. As we all know too well from quarantine, there’s something about being confined to the same space that can affect mental health. Give yourself and your kids a change of scenery to stimulate their minds (and maybe wear them out just a little!).
It’s Good for Your Physical Health
Many outdoor activities involve moving your body, which is great for your physical health. Just 30 minutes of physical activity per day has been proven to reduce the risk of diseases. Many activities you can do outside involve movement, from sports to a simple walk around the block. Plus, Vitamin D (which you can get from the sun!) helps improve your immune system and strengthen your heart, bone and muscle health.
It’s Good for Your Community
Being outside isn’t automatically good for your community, but it can be. Pick an activity that helps you give back while also getting that sunshine. An activity as simple as picking up litter gives you a workout, gets you a tan and, best of all, gives you the sense of accomplishment from giving back.
It’s Good for Building Relationships
Whether making new friends, spending time with family or kicking it with your kids, experiencing a common bond together in the great outdoors is the best way to strengthen your relationships. Consider asking somebody you’ve been meaning to catch up with if they’ll come with you on an outdoor adventure.
Who knew that getting out into the great outdoors could be so good? If you’re not sure what you’d like to do outside, check out these examples to get started!
- Visit National Parks
- Try to Visit Every State
- Walk Outside Each Day
- Learn to Kayak or Canoe
- Go on a Bike Ride
- Pick Up Trash in Your Community
- Go to the Park
- Pitch a Tent and Go Camping
- Find an Ice Cream Truck (It Counts, It’s Outside!)
- Plant Flowers or Plants
- Volunteer at an Organization with Outdoor Opportunities
- Water Sports - Wakeboarding, Swimming or Paddleboarding
Now that you know the benefits of spending more time outdoors and have some ideas, it’s time to put these thoughts into practice. Take advantage of the weather while it lasts. With this many good benefits, there’s no reason not to take advantage.