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Motivational Monday-The Great Outdoors Reduces Inflammation

June is the Great Outdoors Month! Getting Outside is one of the Start a New YOU!® Essentials of Health.

Great Outdoors Month is a nationwide initiative aimed at promoting outdoor activities, raising awareness about the importance of conservation and environmental stewardship, and encouraging people to connect with nature.

How do the Great Outdoors impact inflammation?

I am so glad you asked!

There are so many ways the great outdoor reduces inflammation it is hard to narrow it down and choose which ones to share…

Here are five benefits of the Great Outdoors for reducing inflammation:

  1. Physical Activity and Movement: Many outdoor activities involve physical movement, such as hiking, biking, or swimming. Regular exercise has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Physical activity helps improve blood circulation, enhance immune function, and regulate the production of inflammatory markers and promote healing. By participating in outdoor activities, individuals can improve overall fitness, muscle strength, flexibility, and joint mobility and lower inflammation.

  2. Stress Reduction: Spending time in natural outdoor settings with the fresh air and gentle breeze and natural beauty, listening to the birds chirping, water flowing, and the rustling of leaves, can create a soothing environment that helps alleviate stress and has a calming effect on the entire system. Chronic stress can contribute to inflammation in the body. Outdoor activities provide an opportunity to unwind and relax, which can in turn helps reduce inflammation.

  3. Sunlight and Vitamin D: Many outdoor activities expose individuals to sunlight, which is a natural source of vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in regulating the immune system and reducing inflammation. By spending time outdoors, especially during sunlight hours, individuals can support their vitamin D levels and potentially mitigate inflammation in the body.

  4. Improved Mental Health: The sights, sounds, and smells of nature can have a positive impact on mental and emotional well-being. Studies have shown spending time in nature can lower levels of stress hormones, decrease blood pressure, and improve mood and ADHD. Since stress and mood disorders are linked to inflammation, these positive effects on mental health can indirectly contribute to reducing inflammation.

  5. Reduced Pain: Engaging in outdoor activities can provide a distraction from pain and discomfort. Being in nature, surrounded by natural beauty and engaging in enjoyable outdoor pursuits, can shift the focus away from pain and promote a positive mindset. The release of endorphins, often referred to as "feel-good" hormones, during physical activity and exposure to natural environments can help improve mood and provide temporary pain relief. Adequate vitamin D levels have been associated with improved pain management, especially in conditions like musculoskeletal pain and chronic pain syndromes. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in bone health, muscle function, and immune regulation, which can impact pain perception and management. The serene and peaceful environment of natural settings can help relax both the mind and body. Studies have shown that exposure to nature can reduce muscle tension, lower heart rate, and decrease blood pressure, which can alleviate pain and promote relaxation. Natural settings provide a sensory experience that helps individuals detach from the discomfort and experience a sense of tranquility. It's important to note that while outdoor activities and nature can offer potential pain relief, it is essential to listen to your body, respect your physical limitations, and engage in activities appropriate for your condition.

Embrace nature and engage in outdoor activities to foster a sense of well-being!

For more information on the Start a New YOU!® Program

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