Spending Time Outdoors in the Winter

Now that it is October, the cold weather is quickly approaching.

When most of us were kids, it wasn’t uncommon to spend hours on end just playing outside with friends. Then, as time passed, we got jobs, bought houses and became grownups. Most of our activities moved indoors ― behind computer screens and at work.

Recent studies have found that the vast majority of adults spend more than 90 percent of their lives indoors. The small amount of time that those adults do spend outdoors is largely inside of a vehicle on their commutes.

Here are some of the benefits of spending time outside.

Stress - Bloodstream levels of the stress hormone cortisol are lowered after time spent outside. Some studies say the smell of healthy soil lowers stress and ups the immune system - without even touching it! Immune system - 2010 Japanese study evaluated the effect of “forest bathing” on immune function. A daily walk in the forest for 3 consecutive days increased the number of white blood cells in their blood and they stayed elevated for more than 30 days after their time in the woods. White blood cells are crucial to recognizing pathogens and harmful intruders with the help of antibodies.

Osteoporosis, depression, cancer and heart disease - Sunlight increases the body’s Vitamin D Levels - 20 minutes of sun, three times a week.

Better Sleep - Daylight is the single most important external factor that influences circadian rhythms. Modern humans don’t get enough light during the day and too much artificial light in the evening. As little as 15 minutes of sunlight exposure first thing in the morning resets the body’s sleep-wake cycle and helps you rest better at night.

Better focus - 2009 study found twenty minutes walking in a nearby park was sufficient enough to significantly elevate attention performance in children with ADHD. Perhaps the first period of school and work should be a quiet walk outside.

Mental Health - 1200 participant controlled study at University of Essex found that just five minutes of outdoor activity provided a huge mental health benefits - improved moods, a greater sense of self-esteem.

Increase Longevity - 2015 study followed 108,630 American women to study the relationship between nature and longevity. Women who spent time on lawns, near trees and gardens live longer than women living far from nature, regardless of an urban or rural setting.

Cuddling and conversation - releases oxytocin and deepens relationships

Now that we know the benefits. Here are some tips.

Design more windows and larger ones in your home.

Get some rain-proof patio covers.

Use fire pits and fireplaces.

Add some heaters to the backyard.

Have some seat heaters and always keep blankets with you.

Don't let the weather keep you inside. Go outside and make memories.

For more information, listen to Dean explain it all below:

 

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Home with Dean Sharp

Home with Dean Sharp

Learn how to take care of your most important investment - your home every Saturday from 6 AM to 8 AM and Sunday from 9 AM to 11 AM on KFI AM 640! Read more

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