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Happy Wednesday! The sun is out and it finally feels warm. Coming up tomorrow on 20th June is the Summer Solstice, which marks the longest day of the year and the official first day of Summer.

The sun will rise at 4:55am and set at 21:33pm, giving a glorious 16 hours and 37 minutes of daylight, not including twilight.

As our days are at their longest let’s chat about the wellbeing benefits of being in nature and outside.

 

Benefits for your mind

Stress and anxiety: Spending time in nature can lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Activities like walking in the park or hiking can lead to a decrease in anxiety and stress levels.

Improving your mood: Nature exposure is linked to increased serotonin levels, which can improve mood and overall emotional wellbeing. It can help reduce symptoms of depression.

 

Physical Health Benefits

Improved physical fitness: Outdoor activities such as walking, running, biking, and hiking promote physical fitness, improving cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and flexibility.

Better sleep: Time spent outdoors, especially in natural light, can help regulate sleep patterns and improve sleep quality.

Increase your Vitamin D: Exposure to sunlight enables the body to produce vitamin D, which is crucial for bone health, immune function, and mood regulation. Don’t forget about the importance of wearing sunscreen though!

 

Social Benefits

Social Interaction: Being outdoors is a great way to incorporate social activities such as picnics, group hikes, or sports, which can improve social connections and reduce feelings of loneliness.

Community Building: Participating in community gardening, local nature conservation projects, or outdoor group activities can foster a sense of belonging and community, which is crucial for our wellbeing.

 

Practical Tips to Increase your Outdoor Time

Keep it regular: Aim to spend at least 30 minutes to an hour outdoors each day, or at least a few times a week, whether through walking, gardening, or simply sitting and enjoying.

Try something different: Mix up your activities to try something new. It could be going for a hike somewhere different, or, exploring a new beach. Keep it fun and interesting to you.

Find a group or friend: Putting yourself forward to do an activity with a group or bringing a friend with you will help increase your motivation by committing yourself to the activity. Plus there’s the social benefits along with it!

 

Try doing something different outside to take advantage of these lengthy days. Alongside this, let’s take a look at what fruit and veg is in season in June, there’s plenty with all this nicer weather. Maybe choose something you haven’t tried before to cook with? This tray bake is a great recipe you can use as a base, then swap out the vegetables with some on the list below!

  • Aubergine
  • Beetroot
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Chillies
  • Courgettes
  • Fennel
  • Brench Beans
  • Kohlrabi
  • Pak choi
  • Radishes
  • Rocket
  • Strawberries
  • Thyme
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips

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