After the long cold winter, daylight savings is here at last! That extra hour of sunlight means more chances for fun outdoors. Whether you’re planning a family vacation, a three-day weekend, lazy afternoons by the river, or more frequent naps in the hammock, here are our top reasons (and countless ways) to celebrate the start of summer:
It’s Good for Your Health
Spending more time outdoors during daylight hours is good for you! Regular exposure to sunlight is the best way for our bodies to produce vitamin D. In addition to helping the body absorb calcium to keep bones healthy and strong, vitamin D also optimizes nerves and muscles, while keeping the immune system working properly.
It Helps Regulate Sleep
Having trouble sleeping? Spending more time outdoors is a healthy, noninvasive way to reset your internal clock. Whether you’re looking for longer periods of restful sleep, an easier time falling asleep, or a consistent wake-up time, using the extra hours of daylight to enjoy time outside is a great place to start. Turns out sleeping outside has been shown to help regulate sleep as well! Going to sleep outside when the sun goes down and waking naturally with the sunrise can greatly improve the quality of your sleep. Consider this a reminder to schedule an overnight tramping trip or a little backyard camping!
It Eases Stress and Anxiety
Fresh air and sunshine release mood-boosting endorphins and lower cortisol levels, both of which lessen stress in the body. According to research done at Georgia Tech, breathing fresh air raises oxygen levels in your brain, which, in turn, increases serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for altering your mood. And it doesn’t take Herculean efforts to reap the benefits. A brisk walk around the block can be just as effective as a strenuous hike when it comes to relieving stress and improving your mood.
It Boosts Creativity and Mental Acuity
Experiments cited in Current Directions in Psychological Science have found that exposure to nature improves memory, cognitive flexibility, and attention. Scientists theorize that because our ancestors relied on the outdoors for survival, our desire to connect with the natural world is baked into our DNA. Feeling frazzled at the end of the workday? Need a boost of creativity to finish that project? Looking for ways to inspire creativity and intelligence in kids? Explore a nearby creek, ride bikes around the neighborhood, walk along the foreshore, or pack a picnic and head to the park. It could make you and your kids smarter and more productive!
It Can Help You Connect with Others
Unplugging and getting outside is likely to increase your opportunities to connect with others. Meet a friend for a walk, plan a day trip to the river with another family, or simply smile and wave as bikers pass by on your lunchtime walk. With all those feel-good hormones flowing and stress levels diminishing, spending time outdoors is sure to lead to positive social interactions with friends, family, and even strangers. According to studies by John Zelenski, PhD, a professor of psychology at Carleton University in Ontario, Canada, being in nature might also make us nicer. His findings suggest that spending time in the outdoors makes us feel a part of something much bigger than ourselves. The feeling of awe we get being in the presence of Mother Nature is likely to help us extend positive feelings to others. Win-win!
Don’t Forget Your Hat!
Getting outside and enjoying the sunshine is more fun with the right protective gear. Our UPF 50+ sun hats keep the whole family happy, healthy, and comfortable all year long. Fun, stylish sun hats, high-performance rain hats, and cosy winter hats come in a variety of styles for infants, kids, and adults, to make your time outside even more enjoyable.