Depending on where you live, you may be just starting to enjoy the warmer temperatures, or it may even still be cold. Even though it is May, we have had to turn our heat back on for the past two nights because it dropped into the 40s. Spring is great though and it is my favorite season because it is warm without being too warm, the flowers have just started blooming, and the critters are all coming out and enjoying the warm weather too. But some people around here are waiting for summer because they want to go swimming or boating. After all, we live right here on Table Rock Lake, so it is a big deal when it gets hot enough for those summertime activities. But, did you know that summer is actually good for you?

neighbors enjoying a bar b queBetter for Your Heart

Seriously, experts say that summer is better for your health, especially your heart. Why? Several reasons. First of all, they have actually done studies on this and found that we are less likely to die of a heart attack during the summer. That does not mean that you won’t have a heart attack, but the chances are better that you will live through it. Maybe it is because we don’t have to shovel snow or any of those other strenuous cold weather chores. One thing that I do know is true is that you get more Vitamin D during the summer because there is more sunlight and sun actually increases the levels of Vitamin D in your body. Higher levels of Vitamin D are known to reduce cholesterol and your risk of stroke or heart disease. Also, Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, which helps fight osteoporosis.

three people walking in a parkExercising More

With more sunlight and warmth, we are more likely to get outside to walk, bike, swim, or do some gardening. Any of these things are good for you and doing them outside is twice as good for you because you are getting the sunlight and the exercise at the same time. Walking is extremely good exercise, even if you are just going to walk around the yard or taking the pooch for a walk. Trying to get in a walk or run during the winter and fall can be difficult with all the cold weather and snow, and spring means a lot of rain and thunderstorms. Summertime is the best time to get outdoors and do something. Anything. Ride your bike, clean up the yard, wash the car, whatever. As long as you are getting up and moving, you are making yourself healthier.

young woman in a gymWorking Up a Sweat

Did you know that sweating is good for you? It doesn’t take much to work up a sweat in the summer. In fact, you can sweat buckets out here in the summer just sitting outside doing nothing. As long as you stay hydrated (with water, not alcohol), the more you sweat the better. Because sweating actually detoxes your body, getting rid of all of that bacteria and other toxins that build up in your body. It opens up your pores and makes your skin healthier and will even boost your mood because it increases your endorphins. And sweat actually helps prevent some illnesses because it contains dermcidin, an antimicrobial and antifungal protein peptide that helps boost the immune system. Sweating is good for your hair too because it unclogs your hair follicles, which allows room for new hair growth. So, for those of you who are worried about going bald, just get out there in the sun and make yourself sweat.

young woman gardeningGardening is Good for You

Really, gardening is good for you no matter what you are planting but if you are growing fruits and vegetables, it is even better because as you know, these things are good for you. Enjoy gardening as a family; show the kids or grandkids how to plant seeds that will grow food that they can eat. If you told them that you can grow delicious food from the dirt, they may think you are crazy. Just show them how to garden and they will likely be hooked for life. And you know that is always a good thing because not only is gardening healthy because of the healthy food you grow, but it also gets you out in the sun moving around. Any kind of physical exercise is good for you, increases your endorphins (which boosts your mood), helps you work up a sweat, and lets your body absorb Vitamin D.

young man holding a bouquetFlowers Make You Feel Better

There is a reason why we give our loved ones bouquets of flowers to let them know we love them. Because they make us happy. Just looking at the beautiful, vibrant colors can make you smile, right? It’s true. They stimulate your dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, which are the “feel good” hormones. Dopamine is triggered by the reward our body gets from seeing the colors and smelling the fragrance. Experts claim that this has something to do with our ancient ancestors relying on spring and summer blooms after a long, cold winter. Oxytocin is increased when we see flowers because they stimulate the relationship factor. In other words, we know that someone cares about us if they give us flowers. And serotonin, which is a natural antidepressant, supposedly is increased because the flowers make us feel important. I don’t know if that is true, but I do know that just seeing flowers make me happier. How about you?