The Benefits of Outdoor Play
Author: be well™ with Big Y® Registered Dietitian Team
Getting the most out of the remaining days of summer.
As you make your way through the end of August and into September, enjoy all that the great outdoors has to offer. Whether it’s returning to favorite activities that haven’t made their way into your schedule yet or picking up a new hobby, this is the time to get going.
A Season of Healing
Spending time immersed in sunlight has true benefits.¹ From helping your skin produce vitamin D and improve immunity cell production to releasing mood-impacting compounds called endorphins and reinforcing your body’s natural circadian rhythm², spending time outdoors has been shown to be therapeutic in many ways.
Take advantage of the longer days of summer remaining while beating the heat and humidity. Enjoy your outside time early before temperatures rise and consider shifting schedules to end your days outdoors as temperatures drop. Stay healthy all season long with these tips.
And don’t forget to protect your skin. A little bit of sun exposure can go a long way in regards to vitamin D production but it’s also imperative to play it safe and cover up, use sunscreen and stay clear of peak UVA/UVB times. Learn more about staying safe in the sun from our Pharmacy team and always speak to your healthcare provider to find the best sun plan for you.
Try Something New
What better way to grow and add a little more fun to your life than adding in a new activity to your days? Whether it’s hitting the water in a canoe or kayak, making your way to local rail trails on a bike or in rollerblades or hitting the mountains for hiking, forest bathing and camping adventures, Mother Nature is inviting you to play outdoors. Accept her invitation and make it a group endeavor with your family and friends.
Who said summer ends in the month of August? Not us. Relish in the remaining days of the season like a kid heading back to school. Soak up every sun ray and moment you can until the first frosty morning of Autumn says hello.
¹ Mead MN. Benefits of sunlight: a bright spot for human health. Environ Health Perspect. 2008 Apr;116(4):A160-7. doi: 10.1289/ehp.116-a160. Erratum in: Environ Health Perspect. 2008 May;116(5):A197. PMID: 18414615; PMCID: PMC2290997.
² Kent ST et al. Effect of sunlight exposure on cognitive function among depressed and non-depressed participants: a REGARDS cross-sectional study. Environ Health. 2009 Jul 28;8:34. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-8-34. PMID: 19638195; PMCID: PMC2728098.