Summertime beckons people all around the world to get outside and enjoy the abundance of sunlight and the sights and sounds of nature. It’s no surprise that a breath of fresh air can work wonders on your wellbeing. Did you know that there are over a dozen research-backed health benefits to spending time outside, even as little as 5 minutes outdoors a day? While some places may continue to limit time spent outside of the home, here are 5 ways getting out can improve your health with less than 30 minutes a day.
- Good for Your Eyes
People may find that spending time outdoors can alleviate their blurred and double vision, red eyes, and headaches that come from spending too much time in front of a computer screen. Daylight has also been shown to improve eye health in children and elderly adults.
- Good for Your Mood and Self Esteem
Sunlight also helps keep your serotonin levels up. This helps raise your energy and keeps your mood calm, positive, and focused. As little as 5 minutes of outdoor activity can also help improve your self-esteem. The more greenery or water is nearby, the greater the effect. Relaxed activities like a walk, bike ride, or work in a garden are great examples.
- Good for Concentration and Problem Solving
Studies show that time spent in green, outdoor spaces help improve mental concentration. In one study, kids with ADHD were able to concentrate better on a task after a walk in the park than those who stayed indoors or completed the same activities in an urban setting. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that walking outside also increases the level of productivity, as well as creativity.
- Good for Sleep
Early morning sunlight has shown to help people get to sleep at night. Cells in your eyes need enough light to get your body’s internal clock working right. Experts say 30 minutes before noon show positive benefits, but the earlier the better.
- Good for your Immune System!
Sunlight naturally provides Vitamin D to the body, which benefits the bones, blood cells and immune system. It also helps your body absorb more of certain minerals, like calcium and phosphorus. In the summer, just getting sun for 5 to 15 minutes, 2-3 times a week, provides enough Vitamin D for these positive effects. Plants help too! They release organic compounds called phytoncides into the air that may boost the immune system according to scientific study.
It’s always a good idea to protect your eyes and skin from harmful UV rays when in direct sunlight. Remember to wear sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen when spending more than 15 minutes outdoors.