Young Woman with arms over head smiling in nature

Summer is fading. Back to school is almost here (or already started!). Before the daylight hours shorten too much, be sure to soak up as much time outdoors as possible.

Go for a walk after dinner. Squeeze in another sunset boot camp. Take a long bike ride. Get in one last hard swim in your nearest lake. Especially if you live in a climate where the snow piles up, and the outside activities do an about-face, you will want to sneak in some summer-specific activity.

Here are a few reasons why you will want to #getoutside these last few weeks of summer.

1.Your vitamin D levels will go up

According to a Harvard study, Vitamin D has disease-fighting powers that can affect everything from osteoporosis to cancer to depression to heart attacks and stroke. Direct sunlight on the skin is responsible for the creation of the biologically active form of the vitamin. 10 – 15 minutes is all that it takes for a daily dose. Remember, of course, to use common sense to avoid the dangers of too much sun.

2) Being outside may help improve mental health, stress, and overall physical health.

According to a Stanford-led study, there is quantifiable evidence that spending time walking in nature may lead to a lowered risk of depression. It has also been shown to reduce blood pressure and, according to one study, show “promising effects on self-reported mental wellbeing immediately following exercise in nature which is not seen following the same exercise indoors.”

3) Time outdoors may correlate to higher quality academic performance.

According to one Finnish study, there is some evidence that promoting a physically more active lifestyle may benefit the development of reading skills. This is excellent news for children gearing up for back-to-school. Get them outside as much as possible in these last few days before school starts.

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