Happy March! This weekend we spring forward by an hour as we enter Daylight Savings Time, and later this month (March 19) is the Spring Equinox for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. I don't know about you, but I am ready for Spring!
As the days get longer and things start warming up and unthawing here in Colorado, it's a great time to get outside and enjoy all the benefits of being in nature.
To name just a few:
Exercise: Sitting too much can result in decreased bone density, increased blood pressure, and a shortened life span. Conversely, exercise can help prevent heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes, obesity, back pain, osteoporosis, and a host of psychological disorders. It's hard to be outside and not get some exercise.
Improved Sleep: When we spend too much time inside, away from natural light, and with increased exposure to artificial light, it can alter our circadian rhythms, disrupting our sleep patterns.
Stress Relief and Better Psychological Health: Spending time in nature has been linked to boosts in serotonin (the feel good neurotransmitter), a decrease in both heart rate and levels of cortisol ("the stress hormone"), and an increase of activity in the parts of the brain responsible for empathy, emotional stability, and love.
Boost the Immune System: The cellular activity in forests can provide a general boost to the immune system that we rely on to fight off ills like colds, flus, and other infections.