GUEST BLOG: Vive Recovery Center
Getting outside can help your recovery and be a great addition to your routine.
Over the last several years people have been rediscovering the joys of outdoor exercise and activities. Some of the benefits may actually be related to recovery as much as exercise.
Getting Outside Improves Your Sleep
The outdoors helps set your sleep cycle. You need enough light to get your body’s internal clock working right. Early morning sunlight in particular seems to help people get to sleep at night.
In contrast, modern living, which is heavy on artificial light, may impair our sleep.
Researchers found that spending time outdoors may improve your sleep.
They found that camping reset the body’s “clock” to be more in tune with nature’s light-and-dark cycle. The result was longer sleep
Outdoor Time Helps Your Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D is important for your bones, blood cells, and immune system.
Researchers from The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital in Salt Lake City found that vitamin D can help with faster muscle recovery after intense exercise. It may even prevent muscle damage caused by the exercise.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb more minerals, like calcium and phosphorus.
Your body needs sunlight to make Vitamin D, but you don’t need much. Getting outside can help your recovery with just 5 to 15 minutes of sunlight, 2 or 3 times a week, should do it.
Getting Outside Lowers Anxiety
Something as simple as a plant in the room can make you feel less anxious, angry, and stressed.
However, it’s even better if you get outside in nature.
One of the reasons is that sunlight helps keep your serotonin levels up. This increases your energy and encourages a calm, and positive mood.
It’s more than just Mother Nature you connect with when you go outside.
You also connect with more people and places in your community.
Human contact and a sense of community are important to your mental health.
It Improves Your Focus
It makes sense since you’re getting some level of exercise.
But studies show that when you do something outside your focus is increased.
And it’s not just the activity, it’s the “greenness” of the outdoor space.
University of Michigan psychology researchers found memory performance and attention spans improved by 20 percent after people spent an hour interacting with nature.
So, getting outside can help you focus and that lets you do things better.
It Can Provide negative Ions
While the Ions may be negative, they are actually good for you.
Researchers looking at decades of studies found evidence that negative ions could help improve sleep patterns and mood. They also found evidence you can benefit from reduced stress and boosted immune system function.
Negative ions exist in nature in places like the beach, and near waterfalls. So that walk on the beach has more than just the scenery going for it.
When people think about recovery they ignore that the simple act of getting outside can help their recovery.
But it can have a positive impact.
So, makes sure you do it right.
Consider protecting your skin from the sun and using broad-spectrum sunscreen, SPF 15 or higher, even when it’s cloudy.
Get outside, enjoy, and recover better!