Mother Nature is good for one’s healthBy Veita Bland, M.D. / June 23, 2023
As we finally enter the summer months, let’s take time to enjoy nature by getting outdoors. In a few very simple steps, we can enhance our lives, improve our health and enjoy life more by being in nature. Doing this has little, if any, monetary cost and is quite beneficial. Wow, health value and no cost, sounds like a real deal.
School is out for most kids, and they are going to need to have something to do. So how can we combine healthy lifestyles and nature? More and more recommendations are coming out touting the benefits of the great open outdoors.
Architects have argued for years over whether it is good to incorporate the air from outside into their designs for new buildings or if it would be better to just use the air that has been processed from inside. It is true, fresh air and sun are indeed the best for you.
Do you remember as a child how wonderful it felt to have the sunshine upon your face, the wind blow upon your skin or even the water from a cold lake touch your skin? Those wonderful feelings were good for your health then and they are good even today.
Having a healthy exposure to sunshine is important when it comes to the body naturally producing vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. Your body can make vitamin D when direct sunlight converts a chemical in your skin into an active form of the vitamin called calciferol.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “the amount of vitamin D your skin makes depends on many factors, including the time of day, season, latitude and your skin pigmentation. Depending on where you live and your lifestyle, vitamin D production might decrease or be completely absent during the winter months. Sunscreen, while important to prevent skin cancer, also can decrease vitamin D production.” Vitamin D helps with one’s mental health and general well-being.
Enjoy that morning exposure to the sun. Take an evening walk with loved ones after a meal. Enjoy sitting on a deck in a backyard or at a park in the sun. Enjoy the peace and quiet of the environment and surroundings.
So, make the connection to value the natural world in which we live. Value open spaces, value the sun, but don’t forget to protect yourself with a hat and/or a bit of sunscreen. Take time out of your busy day to spend some quality time with Mother Nature. The quality of your life will be enhanced greatly.
Dr. Veita Bland is a board-certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Dr. Bland’s radio show, “It’s a Matter of Your Health,” can be heard live on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. on N.C. A&T State University’s WNAA, 90.1 FM. Listeners may call in and ask questions. The show is replayed on Sirius 142 at 5 p.m. on Wed. Email Dr. Bland at firstname.lastname@example.org.