Seeing the upside to Bangkok’s thermometer going through the roof, is thinking about all the benefits that spending time outdoors can bring to our health! Oh well, today, it is only 37 degrees Celsius (feeling like 43)! Yes, without a shadow (of doubt), we are in Thailand’ hot season. This season lasts about 3 months, so shall we make the best out of it?
What are indeed the benefits of living in a hot and often sunny climate? Can we still enjoy some activities outdoor?
At My Healthy Bangkok, we looked at several studies, asked a local expert of the health & wellness industry to share his thoughts with us and made a list of what we enjoy the most about our hot city. Here is to sum up!
Mr Husband ending up on so many of my blog pictures whether he likes it or not!
Main health benefits of getting yourself out there
Sun and daylight exposure are good for:
- Your vitamin D production, contributing to your body absorbing calcium better and building and maintain strong bones. The FDA recommends 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure daily, in order to reach 1,000 IUs of vitamin D, which is the daily recommended amount.
- A healthy circadian rhythm; which leads to better sleep.
This is why as new parents, we have been told to let some day light coming into our baby’s room during his daytime naps. All about getting his circadian rhythm right!
- A sufficient level of serotonin in your body is important! Serotonin is linked to well-being and happiness.
I can make this statement made out of my personal experience, but waking up to a blue and sunny sky is a 100% chance to start the day in a good mood!
There are many more health benefits to sun exposure as the linked studies show, but to remember a few, a moderate sun exposure is good for the mood, good sleep, and strong bones.
Meeting with friends in a park is a new thing for me… I was more of a “which Starbucks should we meet at?” kind of girl, but I love this new habit, one reason being that it is free! You can bring your own beverage, snack, why not a pic-nic, and enjoy the air vs. the A/C that is too cold in most coffee shops anyway!
Being out there, and by “there” we mostly mean the park or any location that has a bit of greenery, is an opportunity to connect with nature. And don’t well all need this? To disconnect sometimes? You know this is something we value at My Healthy Bangkok (read this next! “Let’s connect by disconnecting”).
How my 10-months old connects with Nature!
Our expert’s advice
We asked Aurimas Juodka (a.k.a. “AJ”) what he thinks of the outdoors… As a Performance coach specialised in strength, conditioning and nutrition, here is what he is sharing with us:
“Spending time outdoors is crucial because the sun emits UVA and UVB rays and those together are beneficial for your skin and realignment of circadian rhythm, when getting sunlight first thing in the morning. The main reason why it’s great to workout outdoors is extremely poor air quality in most gyms. You end up inhaling a lot of toxins when working out indoors.”
So besides spending more time walking outside, or meeting up in parks, here is one thing to consider: bringing your fitness routine outside! Which is what I have discovered recently at being called “Green exercice”.
Any adepts here?
My favourite spot in Bangkok
It is all about proximity and accessibility! I mean, if spending time in the park is not part of your routine yet, the last thing you want to do, is make it complicated and unrealistic on a regular basis, so the closer, the better. What is the closest park to your home?
Frey has listed her favorite spots to go and play here.
For me, it is Benchasiri park, right across Phrom Pong BTS.
If this is convenient for you too, there is a “healthy rendez-vous” we are initiating with the Bangkok expats Healthified group. Check it out?
Playground area at Benchasiri Park
Check the air quality
Lately we have been experiencing some periods of really nasty air here in Bangkok! So clearly, before you make a plan to spend the day out, we can only recommend you do a little check on your air quality app or site. This is the one we are using.
As in Asia, getting your skin sun kissed is not as hot as it is for us, westerners, this got us to re-evaluate how we perceived sun exposure.
While I am far from my teenage years, grilling under the midday sun with fast tanning oil, I still believe that spending time outdoors, even in Bangkok’s hot weather can be beneficial, so I hope this article will bring a little light to y’all!
Article written by Joëlle