I have fond memories of my Mom telling me to "go outside and play" almost every day in the summer (thanks, Mom!). And so I did: I explored our neighborhood parks, rode my bike and chased fireflies. It was fun.

In college, I didn't own a car and I walked everywhere. I spent hours outside classrooms soaking up the sunshine.

As an adult I know that I do not spend enough time outside. Yes, I try to run in the mornings, but by the time I get back to my house, the sun is barely rising. 

I have an appointment on my work calendar to go outside and soak up the sunshine every day, but I rarely make that appointment - other meetings and obligations get in the way. So, I was not surprised when the doctor told me that I had a vitamin D deficiency.

What I was surprised to learn was that people with lower vitamin D levels in their blood were twice as likely to die prematurely.

That is worrisome. So, we are going outside to play.

On weekends, we've been hitting the pool, riding our bikes and generally soaking up the rays.

I want to be around a long time, and if that means slathering on the sunscreen and spending more time outside, then that is what I'm going to do.

Of course, my son loves this. He is used to going outside during school hours already. Now, I just need to let him see that parents should go outside and play, too.

Tell me your favorite outdoor activity in the comments.

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