For many people, summer is one of the nicest times of the year. And for good reason: this is when we can enjoy ourselves outdoors and recharge our batteries. It is precisely those of us who spend most of our days indoors in enclosed spaces who should make the most of the summer months to reap the physical and mental benefits.
Sunshine for our immune system
We’re all familiar with the scenario: the frequent colds and flus that we suffer during the cold and dark winter months. We feel listless and drained. As soon as it gets warmer outside, our immune system seems to come to life and we are less susceptible to infections. This impression is correct. Sunlight stimulates the production of Vitamin D3 – the “sunshine vitamin” – in the body. This vitamin activates the body’s own defence cells to better counter pathogens.
Moreover, light literally brightens our mood. So get outdoors as much as possible! Even a short walk during your lunch break can lift your mood.
We sometimes say that something is “suffocating” us when we are in a situation that bothers us and makes us feel uncomfortable. However, anyone who has consciously breathed in the fresh air in the mountains or at the coast will perhaps have felt particularly free and relaxed there. Each cell in our body needs oxygen to generate energy. The brain alone consumes a quarter of the body’s energy. This shows why the quality of the air is so important. Memory and concentration functions rapidly decline without sufficient oxygen. Tip: Spend your leisure time outside in nature, away from the exhaust fumes of the cities. Air out the rooms at work and at home on a regular basis.
Get active for a feel-good summer
After a long winter, we sometimes need to get used to more activity once again. Quite honestly, the comfy couch or the warm car are our preferred locations in chilly, damp weather. But now we can cycle to work again, go for a jog in the evening or spend the day in the open-air swimming pool. People who play sport regularly suffer less frequently from depressive moods and often feel more motivated. Exercise is not only good for the body and makes us fit for the beach, but also reduces stress and is good for our general well-being. And don’t worry – you don’t have to be a competitive athlete. Start small and try something new.
What things lift your mood in summer and do you good? We would love to read your comments.
With energy-filled wishes, Dr Ulrich Bauhofer