Being outdoors more often is healthier than staying indoors all the time, but when you have an inside job it is difficult to spend enough time outside to reap the benefits of sun on your skin. In addition, it is the trend these days to slather on sunscreen to prevent skin cancer, but as with many trends, this can be overdone and then all the bad effects of not enough sun can be felt – but not always recognised for what they are.
To get outside more often, why not create a special place outdoors in the garden complete with comfortable outdoor lounge furniture? This will give everyone in the family a place to relax, play, eat and generally get more fresh air and sunshine. There are many health benefits of an alfresco haven.
- The action of sun on the skin creates Vitamin D in the body. Having plenty of this vitamin means that your body can absorb calcium better, so you’ll have stronger bones and teeth. This is important for everyone, but particularly for children whose bodies are still growing and need the maximum amount of these two important building blocks.
- Being outside more helps you to sleep better. Sleep is the time when the body is resting, recovering and for children, growing. Good quality sleep enables you to cope with many things – including stress – that would tend to drive you crazy if you were tired all the time.
- When you can do things outside together as a family it makes everyone happier, so it helps to keep your relationships with the family more stable and emotionally stronger.
- For children, being outside encourages them to play more active games. This helps their bones and muscles to develop and become stronger. It also helps to tire them out so they sleep better.
- It keeps everyone away from the computer and electronic games so their brains can have a rest and the blue light from such devices will not keep them awake at night.
- When there is furniture in the garden you can go out there any time for a few minutes of peace and quiet, necessary in a world that often seems to be chaotic or too busy.
- It provides a comfortable and quiet place you can meditate in, or just relax and read a book, do some craft or listen to the birds singing.
When you think about how much time each day you spend inside and compare it with outdoor time you will very likely be shocked, especially when the health benefits of the great outdoors are so many. The trick is to make a real alfresco haven – a space outdoors where you can be truly comfortable, private and peaceful.