With summer time settling in, you can start getting back outside for fun times and improved health. However, with the availability of technology in today’s world, people don’t go outside nearly as often as they used to. Instead, people choose to watch TV or complete activities inside where the air conditioner will keep them cool. By participating in this behavior, you’re missing out on all the outdoors have to offer this summer.
The benefits of this wonderful season abound, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re traveling to a foreign destination like the Bahamas or you’re going to stay at home – you can take advantage of all summer has to offer simply by going outside.
Everyone, including medical assistants and registered nurses, knows that getting too much sun can be harmful to the skin, but it doesn’t mean you should avoid a bright day. There is one benefit to sunlight people often forget about and that is the vitamin D received from the sun. A study in the journal Nutrition Research found that as many as 42 percent of adults in the U.S. experience vitamin D deficiency.1
It’s important to find a healthy balance of sunlight to get the full benefits of these warm rays. Gaining a little of your vitamin D intake from the sun will help your overall health. The vitamin D you receive from the sun is vital to the body because it helps bones form properly.
Enjoy the fresh air
When you were young, your parents probably used to tell you to go outside and get some fresh air. At the time, you probably didn’t understand the benefits the outdoors could have on your body. Well, it turns out that a study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, cited by the The Huffington Post, found that spending time outside in the fresh air and surrounded by nature increased energy in 90 percent of people.2 In other words, medical assistants and registered nurses shouldn’t forget to include outings to a beautiful nature trail or nearby park in their summer schedules to keep themselves energized.
Getting outside is also a wonderful opportunity to see what natural wonders can be discovered in your own area, like the nature sanctuary located five minutes from downtown Portland, Oregon, or the whitewater rafting in Sacramento, California.
Cool off with a summer swim
Dipping into a pool during the hot summer days is a fun way to spend time with the family. Splashing around the water can be enjoyable for kids as well as adults, and it can also improve your health. A study in the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education found swimmers had about a 50 percent lower mortality risk than people who were sedentary.3
Those in veterinary technician programs would probably also recommend you take your four-legged friend to the beach with you. People aren’t the only ones who enjoy the water, so let your dog play in the water with you.
An important tip to remember as you reap the rewards of the summer season is to stay hydrated. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, more than half of all children and adolescents aren’t getting enough hydration.4 This is an unacceptable number, especially as the summer season becomes hotter. Water is an important component of health, so if you’re not consuming enough, the effects are going to show.
A 2004 report by the Institute of Medicine recommends women consume around 2.7 liters of water, while men should consume a full liter more.5 Be smart this year by keeping a water bottle on you at all times as a constant reminder to drink more water.
1“Prevalence and correlates of vitamin D deficiency in US adults,” Nutrition Research, Dec. 2010. http://www.nrjournal.com/article/S0271-5317(10)00259-9/fulltext
2“Why Getting Fresh Air Is So Good For You,” The Huffington Post, Aug. 2014. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/08/tk-ways-fresh-air-impacts_0_n_5648164.html
3“Research Swimming and All-Cause Mortality Risk Compared With Running, Walking, and Sedentary Habits in Men,” International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education, Aug. 2008. http://journals.humankinetics.com/ijare-back-issues/ijare-back-issues/swimmingandallcausemortalityriskcomparedwithrunningwalkingandsedentaryhabitsinmen
4“Study finds inadequate hydration among U.S. children,” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, June 2015. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/study-finds-inadequate-hydration-among-u-s-children/
5“Dietary Reference Intakes: Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate,” Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, Feb. 2004. http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2004/Dietary-Reference-Intakes-Water-Potassium-Sodium-Chloride-and-Sulfate.aspx