Longer days in the summertime for many of us means we can get more done in a day and depending on the typical weather where you live–hotter and sunnier, too. Researchers have found links between exposure to bright natural light and enhanced mental alertness, mood, and energy, which means now’s the time for us folks in the northern hemisphere to take advantage of a time to be more productive. Unfortunately, this can translate into trying to do everything we can on that “to do” list before the sun goes down. We have become a society of doers but along with that comes a certain amount of stress. Research has proven that stress levels decrease as we become more active physically and mentally. Regular exercise reduces inflammation and insulin resistance in the brain, which fosters new brain cell growth.
Cambria is a beautiful place to live. We are surrounded by the ocean, ranch lands with walking paths, bicycle paths and hiking trails just outside our backdoor. Here are a few ways to get exercise in and destress too…
It allows you to use your entire body by using several muscle groups at once. It improves our mood, and reduces anxiety and stress, all of which increases the brain’s ability to think more efficiently. Park pools are open and it’s a relatively inexpensive way to stay fit. Local parks and colleges usually charge a minimal fee for use or if you have a gym membership take advantage of the indoor and outdoor pools. We live so close to the ocean that a morning dip can be an invigorating way to start your day..
One of my favorite ways to destress and get some fresh air and exercise is to cycle outside. Anyone can pick up a bike for under $400 and begin to explore their community from a different perspective. The benefits are endless and include improved mental well being, building muscles(osteoporosis prevention), improved lung health, reduced heart disease and cancer risk, improved blood for to the brain(boost brain power) and strengthened immune system.
Pickleball has become a popular outdoor activity here in Cambria. Pickleball specifically works on balance and agility while offering the same benefits of other regular exercises. It can reducing your risk of heart attack, chronic disease and tone muscles. One of the best things about pickleball is that it provides socialization and activity at the same time.
Many of us feel very comfortable sitting in the grass and watching the leaves blow in the wind. Spending time in nature can replenish depleted energy, your senses become awakened.. sight, scent and touch get activated. Our brains become more active helping us to become more present. Fresh air heightens awareness of breath slow deep breathing becomes the pattern instead of short shallow breaths. Practicing yoga outdoors can enhance your practice by using trees, bushes and slopes to help you achieve those poses better hopefully, leaving you feeling more confident about the success of each pose.
If your thinking I just don’t have enough time in my day to work in an hour long exercise session then break it up. By spending three 10 minute sessions throughout the day you will reap incredible health benefits … so log out, shut down and go play outside!