Get Outside

We spend so much time indoors nowadays.  Why is it important to get outside?

Did you know that you can actually get a vitamin, Vitamin D, from the sun. To me this is just about the coolest thing… just some good old fashion sunshine, the sunshine vitamin. Have you ever sat on a patio and had lunch with a friend and just left feeling better. It is probably that your body is all hyped up on Vitamin D (or that friend is just totally awesome). You quite literally need sunshine to survive. So use this excuse to get outside and catch some rays.

What if you don’t get enough sunshine/Vitamin D? The list is long but a few on the short list. Without sun shite you won’t sleep as good at night, are more prone to depression,  and your body will have trouble building strong bones. As if that isn’t enough lack of Vitamin D significantly increases the risk of most types of cancer, multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, Seasonal Affective disorder (SAD), hypertension, and heart disease. Basically, a bunch of not good stuff - so get your sunshine in people.

The trick here is to find a way to make it a part of our daily routine. Here are some ideas:

  • Incorporate a walk into your afternoon routine
  • When the kiddos are outside, you be outside
  • Set up an outdoor dining area and eat there
  • Roll down your window on your commute
  • Take your morning cup of coffee on the patio
  • Workout outside: run, boot camps

Ideas for more outdoor activities:

  • Go for bike rides with the kids
  • Go to a farmers market every Saturday morning
  • Start a garden
  • Set up a bird feeder to watch outside
  • Start jogging instead of going to the gym
  • Start a project with your kids: nature walking, rock collecting, fly a kite etc.
  • Get a dog - start a walk routine
  • Do your own yard
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Make an obstacle course in your backyard
  • Get a basketball or soccer goal
  • Get everyone a pair of rollerblades
  • Go camping - set up a yearly trip and spend the whole weekend in the sun.

Sunscreen:

Look if you use screen screen it is going to inhibit your body's ability to get and use the Vitamin D it needs.  It will block your absorption of Vitamin D. One option would be to shorten the  length of time you are spending in the sun. Responsible sun exposure, is more than enough. You don’t need to spend hours in the sun just a few minutes will get you the Vitamin D you need.

However, if you are going to spend a lot of time in the sun you should use sunscreen.  The inflammation caused by sunburn has many negative effects on your health. Here are some natural sunscreen options that i use. I focus on sunscreen that have a base of zinc oxide, they literally reflect the rays instead of defusing them. 

 

Resource: Vitamin D Sunshine & Supplements By Gray Graham, BA, NTP