Many Americans struggle with depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during the winter months. This year it has been especially difficult to stay mentally and physically healthy. When the pandemic has forced many of us to stay inside our houses, it just gets easier and easier not to get out of your pajamas or venture outside your front door. But if you want to get back to a healthier lifestyle in the new year, getting out is a great way to start improving your social life, your physical health and your state of mind.
What are the health benefits of getting out?
According to Harvard Health, getting out can have a lot of positive results, such as boosting your mood and your vitamin D levels, helping you get more exercise, improving your concentration, and more. Being in nature can have a particularly potent effect. A study conducted by the University of Exeter found that people who spent a total of two hours in nature each week reported much higher levels of health and well-being.
What are the benefits of cold temperatures?
Colder temperatures have been shown to improve sleep, improve cognitive function, help with weight loss and reduce inflammation. In addition, experiencing the slight discomfort of being a little cold can increase your tolerance and teach your body and brain that you can really do difficult things.
How can I spend time outdoors when it's so cold outside?
Well first, add up: you are more likely to enjoy your time outdoors and experience it fully if you are dressed appropriately. And with today's high-tech outdoor clothing, it is possible to be quite comfortable even when it is freezing cold! Invest in the right tool for your climate, you will be glad you did. Second, do not set the bar too high, especially if the idea gives up a lot of resistance. Just taking five minutes to walk around the neighborhood in the middle of the day can lift your spirits and improve your energy levels.
Here are some ways to spend more time outdoors this winter:
- Take a walk or hike with your dog or friend.
- Go to window shopping in the city center.
- Have a campfire in the backyard with friends or family.
- Shovel snow for your own home or your neighbors'.
- Skiing, snowshoeing or taking advantage of other winter sports and outdoor activities.
- Take a camera and go out to see what's worth documenting.
- Attend an outdoor concert or event.
- Take some hot chocolate to a local park and spend some time on a bench.
Why it's so important to get out
The benefits of getting outdoors are well documented, but this year it may be more important than ever because it's one of the safest ways to get involved with your friends, the city and the community. while the pandemic is still unpleasant. If you are still unsure about getting out, just put on your shoes and go! Feeling the fresh air and sunshine will help you get through this dark time a little easier.
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