Why Getting Outdoors This Winter Is Important For Your Health

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Image by Lorri Lang from Pixabay

Is it gets colder this winter you might be thinking that the healthiest thing you can do for yourself is to stay inside and to keep warm? Mothers and Grandmothers and their mothers before them have warned that you would catch your death of cold if you go out in cold temperatures and while they're usually right about most things, this is one that is simply not true. If your children play outside in the cold, they will probably get a runny nose as this is the way the body naturally excretes bacteria in cold conditions. However, they won't get much else as you can only catch a cold from another person. Just because the temperatures are a little bit uncomfortable doesn't mean you need to be stuck inside all winter, there are many benefits to why you should don your sherpa pullover, your winter coat, hat, scarf and gloves and get out there.

To Fight the Winter Blues

Being outside, especially during winter months, can combat obesity and depression that comes from spending too much time indoors. When the days are shorter and darker, many people feel trapped inside, but getting outside and seeing a little sunlight can work wonders,

Exercising also causes your brain to release epinephrine, or adrenaline, and norepinephrine, which make us happy. And getting active in the cold can cause your brain to release even more of the substances, so don't be afraid to have a snowball fight, it just might cheer you up. It's also an opportunity to be mindful, so if you're going out for that walk, leave your phone at home because a brisk mindful walk outside while being present and noticing your experience will boost dopamine levels too.

It can improve your memory

Did you know that a walk in the park can improve your memory? According to a study from the University of Michigan which was testing how scenery affected the brain's cognitive function, researchers found that those who walked around an arboretum showed an improved ability to recall by almost 20 per cent, while another group who walked around the city didn't really improve. According to one of the researches, Interacting with nature can have similar effects as meditating, Marc Berman said in a University of Michigan newsletter that People don't even need to enjoy the walk to get the benefits from it, he said: "We found the same benefits when it was 80 degrees and sunny over the summer as when the temperatures dropped to 25 degrees in January. The only difference was that participants enjoyed the walks more in the spring and summer than in the dead of winter."

You Can Enjoy Winter Activities

As well as going out for walks, you can have so much fun with your family. Try ice skating, skiing and sledging, build a snowman or making snow angels. Have fun with your family and stay active. Even if it doesn't snow, going out for a family walk, making a nature trail or playing a game of football in the cold are great ways to have fun together.

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