With the beautiful weather that we have been blessed to have for the past several weeks I thought about highlighting the outdoors. Many people spend workdays indoors under fluorescent lights and in front of computers, then by the time they get home they cook dinner and sit and watch television.
Research has shown that it is important to make time to get outdoors, since doing so is beneficial to our health and all of our senses. There are several ways to improve your health by taking time to go on a hike, spending time near a lake or ocean, or taking advantage of our local parks.
The sense of smell is so important and when you are outdoors we have the opportunity to smell the scent of freshly mowed grass, beautiful flowers such as roses, or the smell right before it begins to rain. It has been shown that these natural scents help us feel calmer and more relaxed. Scientist have also researched and found that when we breath in phytoncides produced by plants it can help increase our levels of white blood cells, this helps us fight off infections and diseases.
The sense of sight can be triggered when out in nature. We perceive up to 80% of our impressions through our eyes. Studies have shown that looking at beautiful sights such as sunsets or the natural beauty of the great outdoors allows our mind to create feelings of awe, helping to give our bodies a mental boost.
The last three senses of touch, taste and sound are equally important when outdoors. It is important to be mindful of each of these senses, reaping the rewards of the wonderful benefits that you can experience. This might include birds singing, waves crashing, winds blowing through the trees or the taste of a freshly picked vegetable from your garden.
Being outdoors helps to boost your energy, restore your focus and give you a daily dose of vitamin D. It is important to remember to apply sunscreen and be vigilant on skin safety as well as keeping your body hydrated. I encourage you to take your workout outdoors, whether that be a brisk walk with a friend, a jog, yoga or even yard work. The health benefits from clean air and natural terrain will be amazing.
Making simple thoughtful approaches to getting outdoors and moving into a more active lifestyle can be life changing.
Not only will you feel better, but you may also reduce your risk of cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
A Washington Post article stated that people who watched 7 hours of television a day had 61 percent greater risk of dying then those who watched less than 1 hour a day.
Being cautious of our daily activity can be so important and life changing.
If you have any questions please feel free to call us at 409-267-3700.
Janice Jircik is director of The Wellness Center at Bayside in Anahuac.