Why Being Outside Makes You Healthier
Are You Nature–Deprived?
May Grey and June Gloom have finally given way to sunshine in July with sunny days and warm nights, what San Diegans know and love. It’s time to get off the couch, out of the office and into the outdoors for fresh air in your lungs, sunlight on your skin and sand under your bare feet; disconnecting from all electronic tethers and freeing yourself from electromagnetic field (EMF) bombardment will add life and health to your days.
Here are 3 ways the outdoors make us healthier.
Before you venture outside with your long sleeve sun–shirt, floppy hat and common commercial sunscreen in hand to avoid the ‘harmful’ rays of the sun, there is something you must know: the sun is good. Yes, that’s right, getting safe sun exposure every day, both measured and gradual, is one of the best things you can do for your immediate health. Twenty minutes of full body sun exposure during the midday produces 20,000 I.U. of vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin.” Recent research has shown that increasing vitamin D levels in the general population could prevent chronic diseases that claim the lives of one million people worldwide. In fact, optimizing your vitamin D levels can reduce your risk for as many as 16 different types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, breast, prostate and skin cancers. A study of menopausal women showed that maintaining healthy vitamin D levels lowers overall cancer risk by 77 percent. Vitamin D also fights infections, including colds and flu, and influences your immune system to attack bacteria and viruses. For extended periods in the sun, a quality zinc oxide based sunscreen to avoid photo–aging and facial wrinkles is recommended. Avoid any sunscreen that contains Oxybenzone (hormone disrupters), Retinyl Palmitate (a form of vitamin A that can trigger cancer), SPF over 50 (false and misleading) and sprays that can be mistakenly inhaled.
Sunglasses may be necessary to protect your eyes when snow skiing or boating, but wearing sunglasses too often can weaken your immune system and block the beneficial wavelengths of light that actually strengthen your eyes.
How fortunate we are to live in San Diego with its miles of sandy beaches to kick off our shoes and walk along the water’s edge! Research tells us the reason it feels so good is that the earth has a negative charge and when barefoot you are receiving a virtual transfusion of healing electrons from the ground. The earth is a natural source of electrons which are essential for proper functioning immune and circulatory systems. In addition, inflammation in the body, responsible for most diseases of aging, can be reduced by grounding to the earth. Wearing too many rubber and plastic soles on your shoes will block beneficial electron transfer from the earth, while leather soles will allow this beneficial electron transfer into your body.
Many people complain about fatigue and low energy; often poor posture and poor breathing habits are big contributors. Forward head and rolled shoulders, common with excess computer, smart phone and tablet use, can reduce lung capacity upwards of 30%. Coupled with poor breathing habits, such as shallow chest breaths, bad posture can lead to excess carbon dioxide in the blood and poor oxygen exchange in the lungs resulting in fatigue, low energy and stress. Performing regular diaphragm breathing exercises with correct posture can do wonders for your energy, alertness and vitality. Mindful breathing can reduce common symptoms of stress such as anxiety and digestive problems. Strengthening the diaphragm helps oxygenate your blood, pumping the lymphatics and aiding in the elimination of toxic waste while strengthening your immune system. Begin your day with a routine of 40 repetitions of diaphragm breathing and increase your energy and well–being rapidly.
Adopting these simple and powerful health promoting habits will help you change your life today and your health tomorrow. Get outside and live!