A Little Sunshine and Fresh Air

“The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers,
but for the wide world’s joy.”

Henry Ward Beecher

Wow!  Yesterday was a gorgeous day here in Eastern Wisconsin.  It hit 40 degrees outside and the sun was shining!  Better yet, you could hear the birds singing and see the snow melting, yippee!  You can surely bet that E and I spent most of the afternoon enjoying it!

We took a walk around the block and it was like our neighborhood came alive yesterday. After our walk, E wanted to try riding her bike.  My baby big girl can finally reach the pedals on her bike, which means she’s grown since last time this year.  She still doesn’t quite get how to actually ride a bike, but we have all Spring and Summer to teach her.  I am very excited for all the things she will learn and be able to do that she couldn’t do last year at this time!

After she rode her bike she had some fun playing with her cozy coupe car.  She just loves going fast down our driveway, which has a slight incline! She told me that she was going to drive all the way to the store and she asked if there was anything I needed.  I told her I needed more eggs.  She said she was only going to the shoe store so she couldn’t get me any eggs.  Now that’s my girl!  She cracks me up!

After she exhausted the cozy coupe fun, her neighborhood friends came over and they played on the swing set and were having fun getting dirty in the mud and splashing in the puddles.  I’m so glad we invested in a pair of rubber boots for E last year, and bought a size bigger so they fit this year too!  Oh, to be a kid again!  We are so fortunate to have amazing neighbors and kids around E’s age that enjoy playing together.  We have some great families living nearby, who we’ve become friends with, making our neighborhood a pleasant and lovely place to live!  All in all It was a great afternoon outside!

I don’t know who enjoyed the sunshine and fresh air more, me or E?  I can only speak for myself when I say it was simply the best medicine for me.  I think E would agree with me though if she were writing this.  She was in a very excited and happy mood and was jibber-jabbering away the whole time!  It was great getting out of the house for starters and getting a breath of fresh air.  It took my mind of our TWW.  I felt refreshed and in better spirits.  Taking a walk, helped clear my mind and help me stress less.  I got a burst of energy and I definitely slept better last night.   I’d say there are only positives to a little fresh air and sunshine.  It’s been a long winter and it’s so easy to get the winter blues.  I know I’ve been in a funk a while now and being cooped up has been making me go crazy!

According to simplegreenorganichappy.com  here are 10 Health Benefits of Sunshine:

Top 10 Health Benefits of Sunshine

1. Reduce risk of Type 2 diabetes. Once considered an adult-onset disease, type 2 diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions in our kids. It’s a lifelong disease, and harder to treat in the young.  Some studies suggest that vitamin D can reduce the risk of developing it (one study found that those with high levels were 40% less likely than those with low levels).

2. Reduce cancer risk. There are lessened mortality rates for 15-20 types of cancer in regions of higher solar UVB exposure, particularly for breast, colon, and rectal cancer. Those patients who had higher vitamin D blood levels when diagnosed had nearly twice the survival rate of those with the lowest levels.

3. Strong bones for better bone health. Vitamin D boosts calcium absorption for strong bones, which means you’re less likely to develop bone diseases, fractures and osteoporosis.

4. Protect eye health. Vitamin D has been tentatively linked to lower incidence of cataracts, and studies indicate good D levels correlate to a lowered risk of macular degeneration as you age.

5. Boost immunity. Researchers believe that vitamin D is integral to proper function of the body’s T cells— the immune system’s first line of defense.

6. Improve metabolism; fight obesity. Several studies show correlation between sun exposure and an increase in metabolism, although the reasoning isn’t cut and dry. One hypothesis that makes a lot of sense to me is that decreased time in the sun leads the body to believe it’s winter, causing the body’s metabolic processes to shift into a winter fat-storing mode. More about that here.

7. Lower blood pressure. The warmth of the sun can improve circulation, andheightened vitamin D levels have been shown to reduce blood pressure in hypertensive subjects— perhaps as effectively as medication.

8. Reduce stroke risk. There are likely a lot of factors at work here, but in one survey people who lived in areas with less sun exposure had a stroke risk that was 60% higherthan those who lived in sunshine-y regions.

9. Sleep better. Daily time in the sun helps to regulate circadian rhythms for a better night’s sleep. And sleep has its own host of health benefits.

10. Feel better. Sunshine has been shown time and again to improve mood, fight Seasonal Affective Disorder and lessen stress. Not to mention, we’re more likely to MOVE when we’re outside basking in the sun. And physical activity is definitely good for you!

Featured image

Get outside, even if it’s only for 5 minutes!  The health benefits alone are so worth it!  Nothing compares to a little sunshine and fresh air.  Enjoy!  There is only 10 days left until Spring is officially here…!!!

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