Welcome to the new Youth health page!
This month's topic is: the importance of spending time outside!
Ever think about what you do for others, but not what you do for yourself? Taking care of yourself is one of the most valuable things you can do! This is the home of the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation Wellness Library, where you can find helpful videos and articles about personal health and wellness!
Take a Walk!
You might walk to the bus or to your classes or around the grocery store, but have you ever thought about walking as a form of exercise? It might seem like an everyday thing, but just picking a direction and walking toward it can be good for your body.
Walking is a form of cardiovascular exercise, “cardio” meaning your heart and “vascular” meaning your blood vessels. Basically, cardio exercise strengthens your heart, allowing it to work harder and for longer periods of time. A stronger heart will also be better at pumping your blood through your body, which means that it will beat less frequently because it’s strong enough to get the blood around without working as hard.
You can try it out yourself. Think of a path you can take around your home and walk it-- try for around 15 minutes the first go around. When you feel comfortable with that, you can try walking faster or for longer.
Don’t feel bad if you can’t go as fast or for as long as you want to. Everybody has to start somewhere.
You and the Great Outdoors
Let’s think about putting that walking into practice and try it out in the outdoors. We’ve talked about what it can do for your heart, but what about the rest of you?
Your Body on Parks
Spending time outdoors also means spending time in sunlight, at least during the day. Sunlight stimulates certain tiny parts of your skin to produce something called vitamin D, a chemical that helps your body absorb calcium--which is critical to keep your bones strong and healthy.
Your Brain on Parks
Not only does spending time outside help your body, but it also helps your brain. Being outside helps your body to produce certain chemicals in your brain called serotonin and endorphins. These chemicals help regulate your mood, leaving you feeling better and with a sense of well-being.
If you would like to learn more about these processes, watch the video below!