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Get Outdoors!

If your weather is anything like Seattle's right now, youneed toget outside. It is glorious. And it's healthy.

Any physical activity is beneficial for our minds and bodies, especially when so many of us spend so much of our day sitting in front of screens (for work or for fun). But being outdoors is particularly rewarding.

Of course there's the views, the vitamin D from sunlight, the fresh air, the chance social interactions, local wildlife and flora. Those delights are obvious, even if quickly forgotten.

But did you also know that serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate one’s mood, rises when you are outdoors? Runners who run outdoors are less anxious or depressed than those who run indoors on a treadmill. They also have improved levels of post-exercise endorphins, those feel-good brain chemicals associated with "runner’s high."

Exposure to nature helps in the reduction of pain and illness, while at the same time accelerating recovery from exercise and injuries. In several studies, post-operative patients who had a room with a view outdoors, need less pain medication and spend fewer days in a hospital than others who look at a concrete wall.When you exercise outdoors, your lungs benefit hugely.

So get outside, whatever you are choosing to do. You'll be better off for it. (And your skin migh get a little color, too).


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