DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – With spring-like weather finally here, many Wisconsinites are leaving their winter blues behind and getting outside to enjoy some much needed sun rays.
Whether you like to run, fish, or play with your kids, spending time outside as temperatures rise can be a great thing for your mental and physical health.
At Voyageur Park in De Pere, Katie Stratton was playing with her daughter when we caught up with her. She works at homeless shelter and says she has seen how a warm day can lift anyone’s spirits.
“I think it impacts everybody. Whether you’re going to have a place to live or not, I think everybody enjoys being able to come out and enjoy the warm weather,” Stratton says.
Thomas Mittelsteadt from Allouez chose to spend the warmest day of the year so far fishing on the Fix River.
Mittlesteadt says, “I think, just naturally [warm weather] brings out everybody’s best character to be able to be out, and get fresh air, and do more activities.”
Lauren Griepentrog from De Pere had a spring in her step. She decided to spend her day running 2 miles.
She says, “We spend the winter indoors, and it kind of gets us down in the dumps a little bit. Being out in the sun boosts my serotonin levels and just gets me in a better, lighter mood.”
Medical experts like Jeff Stumbras, a licensed marriage and family therapist with Prevea, and David Rakel, the department chair of family medicine with UW Health, both say being outside in warm weather generally improves people’s well-being.
Stumbras says, “Physiological changes that occur are increased in vitamin D, which is produced when we’re in the sunlight. We have our natural occurring hormones that manage our sleep cycle. It gives us an indication of what that sunlight can actually do and how it can overall improve our mood and disposition.”
Rakel also agrees saying, “Being in nature and being exposed to sun stimulates hormones in our body and our mind that is uplifting and really helps enhance and overall sense of well-being. Generally, the more we’re connected to nature, the better.”
Even though warm weather often makes people feel better, if you are still feeling depressed, be sure to seek help from a healthcare provider.