This Saturday, June 9, is National Get Outdoors Day. There is no more beautiful place to get outdoors than right here in Plumas County. Numerous studies show that outdoor activity is good for you. A 2009 study found that the closer you live to nature, the healthier you’re likely to be. Getting outside can help you maintain a healthy body weight and thereby help stave off chronic health problems like diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
Just soaking up some sunshine boosts vitamin D levels. Vitamin D plays an important role in preventing cancer, hormonal conditions and inflammation. It also helps build a strong immune system. Being in a natural setting can also improve the quality of your sleep. Natural sunlight helps set your body’s internal clock, which tells you when to eat and sleep, and it can help regulate hormone fluctuations that occur at specific times of day and night.
But getting outdoors doesn’t just benefit the body. It helps the mind as well. Researchers have found that even short “nature breaks” can help one relax and renew. Spending time outside can increase creativity and foster a sense of connection. It can serve as a technology break, too, severing us from our always-connected gadgets.
One study found that just five minutes in a green space of some kind benefited mental health. The same study showed that green spaces that included water were particularly beneficial. That’s good news for us as Plumas County is blessed with an abundance of lakes, streams and rivers.
Getting outside doesn’t have to entail elaborate preparations. It can be as simple as a picnic in a local park, a walk with your dog or a few hours tending to your garden.
A number of local groups have outings and events planned over the next 10 days. There is bound to be one that appeals to you and is appropriate for your fitness level. Check Events Around Plumas County for details about an outing near you.