“The sun is out, the sky is blue, it’s beautiful and so are you”. The Beatles sang it right to their ‘Dear Prudence’ and I think we all need to take a lesson from this.
Since the spring weather is finally here, I thought it would be a good time to go over why getting out, enjoying the sun, and engaging in some outdoor activities, really are great ideas!
Naturally Increase your Vitamin D – As I’m sure we all know the sun provides us with the much needed vitamin D. Our bodies are deprived of this essential vitamin all winter, and it can be challenging to get this vitamin through our diet alone. Although supplements help us through the winter months, the most effective way is to absorb vitamin D through sun exposure. Just getting outside for 15 minutes reaps huge health benefits, as Vitamin D has been shown to reduce the risk of various cancers in women, including breast, ovarian and cervical. It is important however, to be sure you wear your sunscreen so your exposure to the sun doesn’t increase your risk of skin cancers. Wearing UV protection is important, and does not block out the absorption of the vitamin.
Naturally Decrease your Depression – The spring and summer months have also proven to drop depression rates, as the days are longer, and the sun provides a contagious energy that brings your spirits up, leaving you smiling and laughing more. Healthy eating, exercise, and being in the sun truly are the most natural ways to decrease this silent struggle.
Amazing Outdoor Activities – Get outside with these activities while you soak up the big D, and burn some calories.
- Jump rope: Jumping rope is a great outdoor workout that boosts your cardiovascular capacity and endurance, while burning MAJOR calories and getting those lower legs and shoulders in shape. Doing this first thing in the morning or early evenings are great times as it’s not too hot out and you won’t overheat.
- Swim: It’s so amazing for your body! Treading water is a great way to work your legs, arms and cardio. Start by treading water for 30 seconds and then increase your time by 15 seconds every week. Being in the water, be it a pool or a lake, is a great way to use the buoyancy of the water to your advantage. If you have small hand weights you can do arm raises under the water to get in a resistance workout, or if you have sore joints, you can use the natural buoyancy as a very gentle way to work your body without the added stress.
- Gardening: Who thought gardening would be good for your body? It is a wonderful arm, legs, and abdominal workout. Because most of our gardens are low, be sure that when you’re planting, weeding, or rearranging, that you keep your back straight, and your abs pulled in tight. The more you round your back, the more you’re going to feel tight and tender in your lower back area the next day. Instead, try doing some low squats as you plant, or pull out a nasty weed.
- Play: It’s so important to get outside and play with your kids, nieces, nephews, or neighbours. While your kids run and jump through the sprinkler, join them. Help your child with their paper route, and carry their papers instead of using the wagon. If the neighbourhood kids have a soccer game going, encourage the parents to have a kids vs. parents game. Your kids will remember these times more than the show their watching or PS3 game they’re playing.
- Don’t forget to hydrate: This is especially important in the spring, because like the fall, it’s hard to notice when you’re overheating or becoming dehydrated. The cool breezes trick you into thinking you’re not as hot as your body may actually be. If you notice you’re thirsty, you’re already becoming dehydrated. And please, I know patio season has begun but alcohol is NOT a hydrant! As refreshing as that beer or margarita may be on the dock, patio, or backyard, try and drink one class of water to every drink (or 2)!
Now with all that in mind, GET OUTSIDE!
Showing you the difference between liking and loving your body,