July Challenge: Get Outside!
Summer is the perfect time for you to get out and rediscover nature! Spending more time outdoors has been shown to improve short-term memory, restore mental energy, reduce stress, spark creativity and helps manage the symptoms of depression. Did you know that the warmth of sunshine on your skin releases two vital substances into your blood stream? Vitamin D and Nitric oxide. Most people know that vitamin D plays a critical role in your immune system, but it also has been found to reduce cancer risk by 60% and improve brain function, while nitric oxide works as a natural vasodilator. Going out in the sun can not only boost your immune system, brain function and reduce cancer risk but it can also lower your blood pressure and protect your heart. Sunlight produces the chemical serotonin in your brain- which increases feelings of wellbeing, improved mood, concentration and energy. Trees release a chemical called phytoncides which increase production of “natural killer” cells a type of white blood cell that helps kill damaging cells in the human body. This is in part why many therapists and cultures recommend something called Ecotherapy also known as nature therapy. In a study conducted by a mental health charity organization, a nature walk reduced symptoms of depression in 71% of participants For the month of July I am giving you a prescription: to spend more time outdoors. July’s Warm weather and clear skies are the perfect excuse to step out of the office and get active. This month, I am challenging you to find some outdoor activities that you enjoy and spend at least 15 minutes outside every day this month. Some ideas include taking a bike ride, walking your dog, going for a hike, gardening, swimming, eating outside or having a picnic, meditating outside or going to a local farmers market or fair. The summertime outdoor activity options are truly endless! While at work, I would also like to encourage you to opt for walking meetings when possible, take walking breaks throughout the day and ride your bike to work if you are local. The challenge will begin Thursday, July 1 and end July 31. I will share a calendar with you for tracking time spent outside and a link for you to officially register for the challenge. Your Registration will allow entry into our private teams group where I will post a reminders and you can share pictures, outdoor activity ideas or benefits you’ve noticed from getting outside. Remember the key is the spend time outside to reap the benefits of sunshine and nature, without crossing the barrier of allowing your skin to burn. If all this sounds good to please join us for a month of getting outside and having some fun in the sun! Sign up here: https://forms.office.com/r/uggB42P9fX