Embrace the benefits that daylight saving time offers

Now that we have sprung forward an hour, let’s look at the health benefits of the extended natural daylight that is available to us in the evening.
There is more daylight to participate in activities in the evening. Daylight saving time equates to availability to do what you want or need to do after school/work. Sunshine in the evening motivates people to get outdoors. The extra hour of daylight can be used for recreation like golf, soccer, baseball, running, bicycling, gardening, etc. Studies show that outdoor exercise of any form can significantly lift your mood and enhance your self-esteem.
  • Research has shown that being outside in the sunshine and fresh air for just 20 minutes a day is associated with greater vitality.
  • More daylight improves social lives. People tend to stay out and about longer when there is daylight: shopping, eating out at restaurants, enjoying outdoor performances, hosting backyard BBQs, etc. Socializing not only staves off feelings of loneliness, but it also helps sharpen memory and cognitive skills, increases one’s sense of happiness and well-being, and may even help you live longer.
We have more waking hours available to soak up the sunshine.
  • Sunshine can help with Vitamin D production. When sunlight reaches our skin, our body produces vitamin D. Vitamin D helps the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus; both are critical for keeping our bones, teeth, and muscles healthy! Studies show that vitamin D reduces the risk of certain medical conditions like heart disease, can reduce cancer cell growth, helps control infections, and reduces inflammation. Extra bonus, vitamin D has also been linked to weight loss and reduced rates of depression.
  • Sunshine increases the production of serotonin. More serotonin leads to the potential for more happy feelings; because when serotonin is at normal levels you feel more focused, emotionally stable, happier and calmer. Thus, being out and about in the sunshine more increases the production of serotonin, our happy hormone.

If you are struggling with any emotional, mental, behavioral, or substance use concern, know that you can engage in immediate support. Call NMCAL at 1-855-662-7474 or download the NMConnect app and start your self-guided path to wellness.

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