How’s it going? I hope you’ve been enjoying the weather! I know there’s still a global pandemic going on, but I hope the lockdowns and restrictions haven’t impacted you too much.
Some restrictions have just started to lift here in Ontario, and I’m so glad about that! As a society, we need to be spending more time outside, going out, doing things. Exercise, activity and sunshine are all crucial for overall health.
Unfortunately, between winter that just passed and lockdown restrictions, most of us have not gone outside in… a while. But I encourage you to change that, now that the better weather is here!
But why is it so important to be outside and get fresh air? For so many reasons!
- Daily dose of vitamin D from the sun
- Gets you in tune with your circadian rhythm (your biological clock)
- Instantly boosts your mood
- Get some physical activity
- Get some fresh air and take a break from harmful toxins indoors
I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a great deal to me! Personally, I’ve been spending about an hour outside each day and I’ve definitely noticed improvements with my mood and outlook on life.
Here are 5 ways that you can start spending more time outside. Let me know in the comments below how you plan on spending more time outside.
1. Go for a walk
I know this is such an overused suggestion, but it really is one of the best ways to get outside. Get your legs moving and get your blood pumping! Not only is walking more great for your physical health, but it also has a positive impact on your mental health.
I’ve seen it firsthand just how going for a walk instantly reduces stress and improves mood. So get out there! And literally stop and smell the flowers along the way.
2. Plant a garden
This is how I plan to spend most of my time outside this year. And don’t think that you need a large garden to do so, because you don’t. Whether you have acreage or can only fit a few pots on your balcony, getting outside and growing a garden is extremely beneficial.
Not only will you be spending time in the sun, but you can connect with nature. Plant a seed and watch it grow. Watch the growing process and care for the life that you’ve invested in!
3. Ride your bike to the store
This one might be tricky, especially if you’re doing a weekly grocery haul. But we’ve all forgotten to grab one thing or another, so if you must return to the store, take your bike! More and more stores and plazas are installing bike racks to encourage bicycle use.
Maybe if cycling to the store isn’t your thing, just try going for a bike ride around the neighbourhood!
4. Exercise outdoors
This one is pretty self-explanatory. I know the thought of working out in public can be intimidating, but don’t let that stop you. I’ve seen many people (myself included) work out in their driveway or garage – whether that’s jumping rope, squats, push-ups, etc.
If you have a large enough backyard space, head back there for some extra privacy. The point is, get outside, get active, and get that heart rate pumping!
5. Take your lunch outside
Many of us have been working from home since the start of the pandemic. This can be a great thing (hello pyjamas all day!). But it can also cause some of us to become recluse. Break out of your habit and simply eat your lunch outdoors. Think of it just as your regular work break.
Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.Laura Ingallis Wilder