Daylight, Get It While You Can!
Exercising outdoors has benefits beyond just the physical. I just posted some recent research over on the Life-Cise News page which has found that even 5 minutes of outdoor activity can boost mood and improve self-esteem.
And in related news, scientists say that putting our clocks back during the winter is bad for our health, increases pollution, and wastes energy. Leaving the clocks alone in winter could bring major health and environmental benefits.
In the current British Medical Journal
, Mayer Hillman of the University of Westminster, London, cites research that finds people are happier, more energetic, and less likely to get sick during the lighter months of summer, compared with winter when people become more anxious and depressive. He is calling on British politicians to consider ending the time-change policy.
Scientists hope that leaving the clocks alone would encourage people to exercise and get outdoors more during the winter months. That extra hour of daylight could boost vitamin D levels. Estimates are that half of the world's population has lower than ideal levels of vitamin D. A change in policy on time-change could add about 300 hours of daylight during the winter in Northern regions.
In addition, the extra daylight could cut energy use by .3% per day - about the equivalent of saving 450,000 metric tons (in Britain alone) of CO2 during winter months.
But that's for politicians to address. In the mean time, get outside while you can. Enjoy the beautiful Fall weather (for those of you here in the Northern Hemisphere). Soak up the vitamin D while you still can, and do something good for your body and mind - exercise outdoors.
- BY Julie Goodale | 10.30.2010
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