Despite the inclement British weather, July is usually warm with lots of great opportunities to get outdoors. The national advice is that undertaking regular bouts of 10 minutes of brisk activity like walking in the outdoors brings many surprising benefits.
It's a free way to get fit
Getting outside doesn't have to cost you a penny! You can go for that walk in your local park and just look at the environment as you go along and be surprised what you find. Take the kids along and whilst they might be reluctant to go at first, the time together and time outside is a perfect way to make great memories.
It benefits your mental health
You don't have to travel far to benefit from the fresh air; just get out into your garden! Exercise such as gardening releases feel-good hormones including endorphins and improves sleep - not to mention gives a great sense of achievement when your hard work comes to fruition! You are also walking as you garden! Add some briskness by moving the lawn!
It's good for your brain
According to dementia charities exercising and walking can help lessen cognitive decline and improve memory function. Being outside also helps maintain our vitamin D levels and can regulate our body clock, meaning we sleep better too.
The sun supplies us with best source of Vitamin D. Getting enough of this hormone is essential to maintaining a healthy immune system. Those who don't get enough Vitamin D are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis, cancer, and Alzheimer's. On the positive side getting enough sunlight has also been linked with the prevention of diabetes, auto immune disorders, multiple sclerosis, and heart disease. If you want your body to function properly, get outside.
Improved Eye Health
One reason to walk outside is that it helps prevent Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), the term used to describe eye problems caused by staring at a screen close to your face for prolonged periods. Getting outside and focusing on objects not two feet from your face can help to prevent and even reverse these symptoms.
New research is showing that our ever-increased exposure to artificial light may be having a negative impact on near sightedness. Artificial light is problem, natural light is the solution. If your eyesight is declining (or is starting to), get outside and that brisk walk will help improve your sight.
Our sleep patterns are regulated by an internal body clock called the circadian rhythm and are naturally tied to the sun's schedule. Spending too much time inside, away from natural light and with increased exposure to artificial light, can alter our circadian rhythms and disrupt our sleep patterns. Early morning exposure to sunlight has been shown to help improve these sleep cycles. A great excuse to get out of bed early for a brisk walk outdoors is to improve your sleep!!
For those of us living in urban areas you may feel that the outdoor air is too polluted and bad for your health, but indoor pollutants are far worse. Indoor pollutants are normally 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor pollutants. If you don't like inhaling poison, get outside for that walk.
For the more 'new age' amongst us then the extreme form of walking is referred to as grounding which results from bare skin contact on a natural surface (dirt, sand, etc.). The idea is that because the earth is negatively charged- and has a greater negative charge than your body- we absorb earth's electrons. The rubber soles of our shoes prevent this absorption of electrons from occurring. If you want to feel the energy of earth, get outside (and take your shoes off). There are some wonderful beaches across the Humber where you could test this theory out on a ten-minute brisk walk.
So lots of really good reasons to go for those regular and brisk ten-minute walks in the glorious July Humber sunshine.