Trust me, I love staying in air conditioning and far away from UV rays just as much as the next person, but there’s just something about summer. It’s a time for margaritas and heat. A time for floppy hats and board shorts. Even a time for, yes — going outside.

I want you to think of the excuses you make up on a regular basis for not going out. Now I want you to throw those out the window. It’s time to get off your ass and be the social butterfly you were during freshman year of college, but hopefully a bit wiser. Those episodes of “Shark Tank” aren’t going anywhere, and you’re never going to be more energized in your life than right now.

Let’s tackle some of the most common excuses. There’s the classic, “I’ve got work in the morning.” Honestly, staying out till midnight on a weeknight isn’t going to kill you. Sure, you might not get eight hours of sleep, but we think you’ll survive. Most people are functional with just four to six hours of sleep daily. I once heard that sleep is for the weak.

Centrefold

How about the other excuse, “I’m broke, I really can’t.” Put the two $4.50 wells on the credit card. I’m not saying to start financing your drinking, but if it’s the 13th of the month and someone asked you to grab happy hour, it’s going to be okay. Post-work drinks are literally the best.

“It’s too hot. I don’t want to.” “I just got my wisdom teeth out.” Alright, I’ll cut you a break if you’re using the last one. But cut the excuses. George Washington once said, “99 percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” Don’t be a failure. Listen to George Washington. Be an American!

Take a walk, ride a bike, lay by the pool, go on a road trip, get on a boat, try a new restaurant, try an old restaurant, take your pup to the dog park, go to Amelia Island, rent a kayak, go fishing, go to a farmers market, learn to scuba dive, go to a music festival, have a cookout, build a garden or even volunteer. Make an effort this summer to say, “Yes,” when you’d normally say, “No.” Start with once a week, and go from there. Don’t include running errands or commuting to work as going outside. Lose the phone for a few hours and spend some quality time with friends, yourself or a pet.

Summer 2

Plus, there are tons of benefits to going outside. Being outdoors makes you happy. Nature is great for reducing stress and depression. Being around nature can even spur weight loss and increase brain function. Most of us get 80 to 90 percent of our vitamin D intake from the sun, which helps prevent hormonal problems, cancer, obesity and inflammation, even boosting your immune system. Become a healthier and happier person this summer. You’ll thank me later.