Well, it’s about time! Spring has finally sprung, and most of us (especially us here at KOJA HQ!) are welcoming the change from the colder Winter weather with open arms.
When you think of Spring, you generally think of a fresh start and new beginnings, as well as feeling more free, vibrant, happier and lighter, as we begin shedding the multiple layers of clothing that we’ve been hiding under for months. There’s just something about it- a buzz in the air that brings hope and excitement for what’s to come.
Now that the sun is showing more of itself and the days are starting to get a little longer, we think it’s the perfect time to come out of hibernation and start getting outdoors as much as possible to soak up the Spring-time health benefits! Moving your body while being out in nature is the perfect combination to get those happy hormones pumping through your body to boost your mood and help you feel amazing.
Here’s why spending time outside creates those positive, feel good vibes that we all want a piece of...
Negative Ions (the good ones!)
Ions are particles in the air that have a positive or negative charge. Just to confuse you slightly, negative ions are actually the ones that we want to be surrounding ourselves with- they’re produced in nature and are extremely beneficial to our health and wellbeing, known fondly as “vitamins of the air” and "nature’s antidepressant”. Basically, it’s ‘fresh air’- think flowing water in rivers, waterfalls, mountain areas, crashing waves and even showers- these are the places that are most abundant with negative ions and which help us recharge ourselves when we’re feeling fatigued.
Spending time in places filled with negative ions helps to calm and relax our minds and bodies, strengthen our immune systems, increase the flow of oxygen to our brains, resulting in higher levels of mental energy and focus, increase oxygen levels in our blood, and increase levels of serotonin, the happy hormone, and melatonin, the hormone that helps us sleep.
On the other hand, positive ions are the ones we don’t want high doses of- think of it as ’stale air’- but these days it’s what people are mostly breathing, as we spend so much of our time inside. All the pieces of technology we're surrounded by indoors, like phones, computers, TV’s, lights and heaters release positive ions into the air, which is why spending too much time inside can cause headaches, a short attention span, fatigue, depression, immune disorders and the general feeling of being unwell.
If you’re sitting in an office or cooped up at home for periods of time and start to feel foggy, getting outside for even 10 minutes for some fresh air will help you feel better.
Known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ it’s essential for growth, development, strong bones and muscles, lowers the risk of cancers, plays an important role in disease prevention and helps maintain optimal levels of overall health. Vitamin D is produced in the skin when exposed to Ultraviolet (UVB) light from the sun.
Unfortunately, Vitamin D deficiencies are really common, as we’ve all been scared by the media and told to cover up and avoid the sun as much as possible, which has lead to many serious health issues. While too much sun exposure can cause skin cancer and we obviously want to avoid getting burnt, it’s important to spend at least 15 minutes in the sun each day with your skin exposed to the sun’s rays (without sunscreen)- even just your face, neck and forearms- to soak up the sunny goodness!
We’re not designed to get our Vitamin D sources orally. Most plant and animal foods don’t contain Vitamin D, and the majority of people only get 5-10% of their Vitamin D requirements from food. It’s best to get your Vitamin D from natural sources (the sun!) rather than supplements, which have actually been found to suppress the immune system. Taking supplements also runs the risk of overdosing, resulting in Vitamin D toxicity. This isn’t possible when using the sun as your main source, as the body will only take and generate what it needs from the sun.
Daily exercise also helps to boost levels of Vitamin D within the body, so why not combine a relaxing stroll in the sun to maximise the benefits!
So, what are you waiting for!? We hope this has inspired and motivated you to get out in nature and experience the mind and body benefits for yourself. Take yourself outside, find a beautiful, natural setting to do some movement, or simply take off your shoes and lay down in the grass or the sand and relax under the warmth of the sun. We’re sure you’ll be feeling reenergised and revitalised in no time!
This post was researched and written with love by our Marketing Communications Hero, Heidi Brockmann.
Heidi is a Sydney babe who's recently moved to Melbs, to join the KOJA team! She is very passionate about holistic health and inspiring others to live natural lifestyles. Her interest in the connection between our physical body and our emotional health lead her to study BodyMind Nutrition. She is currently training to become a Life Coach, Holistic Counsellor and Complementary Therapist.