Fall is upon us. Sort of. We are still in the south, so it’ll be hot at least a few more times. But, one of the best parts about fall is that it eventually gets cool, and you can get outside and enjoy nature without dying from heat stroke.
Enjoying the outdoors is a great way to unplug and destress. You can hike or read or do yoga. You can also do fall related activities, like go to a pumpkin patch or go apple picking. Plus, since it’s fall, there aren’t as many bugs!
Being outside can be really fun. But, besides that, being outside has some great physical benefits. The biggest physical benefit to being outside is that you’re more likely to get your recommended amount of vitamin D. When it’s sunny outside, just 10 to 15 minutes a few times a week is all it takes to get all your needed vitamin D, according to a Harvard University Health Letter. Vitamin D is necessary for healthy bone growth, and can also reduce your risk of flu and diabetes, according to medicalnewstoday.com. You can’t find vitamin D in many foods, so getting outside is really the best way to obtain it.
Besides being the perfect way to get vitamin D, enjoying the outdoors is also a great way to get in some much needed exercise. For the most part, we all spend copious amounts of time inside studying, playing video games or other activities, none of which require much moving around. Sitting for too long can result in decreased bone density, increased blood pressure and difficulty losing weight (obviously), according to thetrek.co. Conversely, exercise in and of itself can prevent heart disease, strokes, back pain and a litany of other things, and people tend to exert more energy when they exercise outside and they also enjoy it more, which means they will exercise for longer periods of time, according to thetrek.co.
We all kind of already know that being outside is great for your physical health, but many people overlook the metal benefits of being outside. “Spending time in nature has been linked to improved attention spans (short and long term), boosts in serotonin (the feel good neurotransmitter) and shows increased activity in the parts of the brain responsible for empathy, emotional stability, and love (whereas urban environments do the same for fear and anxiety),” according to thetrek.co. Meditation also boosts these benefits, so imagine how good you’d feel if you tried meditating outside!
Getting outside can be sort of difficult if you’re not used to it. However, at Tech, there are always plenty of places to set up a hammock and study; you’ll get in some needed study time and soak up some vitamin D and improve your mood at the same time! Or, you could grab some friends, or a significant other, and spend some time searching for the Great Pumpkin or trying to find an alligator at Bona Dea.
In short, get outside because it’s good for you and you’ll enjoy it more than you think you will.