Our summer program is 62 days long from June 19 to August 19. During this time you can maximize your enjoyment by setting goals to get out and enjoy the season. We have created these trackers, opens a new window for you to mark your progress over the summer. You can track how many hours you have spent outside, off of electronics, reading, traveling, and more.
Ready to experience the outdoors? We have some facts about going outside that will hopefully motivate you to get out there and enjoy the fresh air.
Spending time outdoors is a great way to get your steps in and encourage movement. Take a hike, walk over to the neighbor's house for a bonfire, collect abandoned garbage from a common area, or literally smell the flowers to increase your time outside and enjoy the benefits of more exercise than staying indoors.
2. Vitamin D
Safely exposing your skin to the outdoors helps to synthesize vitamin D when exposed to UVB light (present in sunlight). Vitamin D3 is called cholecalciferol, which is synthesized by the reaction. The liver then converts cholecalciferol to calcidiol, and then to calcitriol in the kidneys. Vitamin D is essential for the normal absorption of calcium, the main ingredient in healthy bones. Vitamin D also is essential to our bodies for general immunity and can protect us from bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
3. Lessens Anxiety
It is scientifically proven that spending time in nature can assist in stress reduction and anxiety relief. It can also boost your overall well-being and feelings of happiness. If you are feeling down or anxious, step outside to a green space and breathe in and out slowly and try some forest bathing.
4. Social Boost
Outdoor play is beneficial for kids and grown-ups alike. Other than the obvious physical activity it promotes, it can also encourage socialization, which benefits people of all ages. Taking the initiative to get your family outside reduces the likelihood of weight-related health concerns and contributes to mental health as well.
5. Improved Sleep
Researchers at Stanford have documented the correlation between sleep and exposure to green spaces and nature. As we grow, we see increases in trouble falling and staying asleep. Take your daily dose of the outdoors to promote sound sleep for you and your family.
6. Boosts Productivity
Biophilia is a term coined by scientist Edward O. Wilson in 1984 to define the connections in nature with other living things, specifically humans. When we spend more time working outdoors, it is shown to boost productivity and work satisfaction. Take that next conference call on the patio or use your lunch hour to snack and walk around the park—your health and work will benefit.
7. Decreases Screen Time
Getting outdoors can help limit our exposure to screens. The effects of too much screen time on our health are well documented. The more time folks spend on social media and screens decreases their actual feeling of connection with others. Teens spending time on social media are more likely to compare themselves to unrealistic body images which can lead to a bevy of physical and mental health issues.
For middle school-aged kids, it has been shown that too much time on screens (more than two hours a day) can lead to conduct and oppositional defiant disorder. Some studies have found that watching looping videos on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok has led to the development of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
We encourage you to get up, out, and outdoors and see how many hours, pages, chapters, miles, and analog activities you can rack up this summer. Our 62 Trackers can help, so don't forget to download them out if you'd like.