We are approaching the first holiday of the school year. I want to take some time to discuss the importance of getting outdoors and engaging in physical activity.

I am writing this blog from Miami, Florida.  If you haven’t noticed, we have great, albeit hot, weather 9 months out of the year.  It is essential for your health that you take advantage of this by going outside.  The sun provides vitamins for your skin and the fresh air is essential to proper lung functioning.  I’m here to give you a bit of motivation to get outside this weekend and I’ve even offered some options.

What’s the big deal about going outside? At the very least, it’s a nice change from your couch.  But in actuality, the sun provides vitamin D, an important vitamin for your skin and immune system.  The sun also aids in the release of nitric oxide, which helps to keep our blood pressure controlled. The fresh air will keep your pulmonary system functioning optimally.

I’ll admit that humidity isn’t comfortable but your body does prefer the air that way.  Cold air is warmed and humidified by your throat and nasal cavity before it reaches the lungs. Your body has to work to heat this air so that it doesn’t dry out the lungs.  In this respect, fresh air is a nice break to your pulmonary system.

So… exercising outside is good, but what can I do?  There are literally hundreds of things to do.  For starters, just go for a nice walk or bike ride.  I hope you have the day off of school or work; make the most of it!  This is a great time to bond with your family or friends.  If you prefer something a little bit more active, then throw the football or Frisbee.  These two options are great for upper body training, hand eye coordination, and even cardio.

If at the very least, I implore you to go outside and take advantage of the fresh air.  I wish everyone a safe Labor Day weekend and hope that you stay active.