There are just so many activities that we can engage in the summer time that are great for our minds and bodies, but here are three that really are at the top of the list in terms of benefits:
You probably already know that aerobic exercise is good for your mental health, but did you know that swimming seems to be one of the most beneficial options?
Not only does swimming release endorphins, it also encourages the growth of new brain cells according to an article in the Huffington Post . Additionally, an Australian study found that there’s a connection between warm water immersion and increased blood flow. More blood flow means more nutrients for the brain which means a better functioning mind.
And finally, swimming also has a lot of the same benefits as yoga. They both involve the coordination of breath and movement which can release mental, emotional and physical stress. The repetitive movement and mind-body connectivity can help put you into a state of deep relaxation just as yoga can.
Summer is a great time to take a vacation if you are able to do so. It is awesome to have the opportunity to get away from your normal surroundings and take in some new scenery. During a vacation, we have the potential to break away from the stress cycle that we may find ourselves in. We can come back from a successful vacation feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world again and face our challenges.
British researcher Scott McCabe noted that vacations can also provide new experiences which lead to a “broadening of horizons and the opportunity for learning and intercultural communication.” This is the experience of getting a little bit of distance from your normal day-to-day life and being able to see things in a new light and perhaps develop insight into the human condition. We can also strength bonds with the people in our life when we vacation together.
If you need some inspiration, check out the Huffington Post’s article on top road trips in BC.
- Soaking Up (a little) Sun
The sun is finally shining and somehow it seems to put a smile on our faces in the way that a rainy dark day just doesn’t. We all know that too much sun can be harmful to our skin but the right balance can do a lot to boost our mood.
Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of a feel-good hormone called serotonin. This is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused. Sounds pretty good, right?
Of course, prolonged direct exposure to sunlight is not advisable. So make sure that you wear a good sunscreen or stay in the shade when you’re out in the sun.
By Polly Guetta