How often are you getting the chance to breathe fresh air, to look up to the sky, to walk briskly in the rain, to be outside and enjoying nature?
There are so many benefits of getting outside. Have a read of these 7 easy ways to enjoy the benefits of the outdoors and see if you can add them into your day.
READY TO GET OUT THERE?
1. Make being outside a ritual. Go for a morning or evening walk every day. If you work in an office try to pop outside on your breaks, walk around the block, breathe in some fresh air.
2. Try gardening. From planting vegetable garden to planting a few flowers, both activities get you outside regularly and communing with nature. I started a new veggie garden in 2012, it’s been pretty productive so far and it’s so rewarding being able to pick your own.
3. Take holidays in beautiful places. For your next scheduled break visit a national park or go to a beautiful beach—whatever landscape speaks to you! It doesn’t mean you have to travel far, have a look what is right in your backyard.
4. Find a trail. Whether hiking or biking is more your speed, there are trails around the country for you to explore. Find one near you by checking your city council site online.
5. Sit outside. We’re always so on-the-go. The next time you need a break, try sitting outside quietly and just appreciate the natural beauty around you! Notice the scents, sights and sounds as you sit quietly and focus on the moment.
6. Go to a local park. Ask others in your neighbourhood which park is their favourite to visit. Then the next time the weather is good, trade your usual gym workout for an outdoor one!
7. Commit to the outdoors, rain or shine. When you’re layered properly, you can enjoy the outdoors in any season, cold, wet or hot. Don’t forget about the fun and healthy outdoor activities available during the rainy or cold months—these are the times that we have even less outdoor interaction but may be when we need it the most!
Being in a natural setting can also help increase your quality of sleep as studies show that natural sunlight helps set the body’s internal clock that tells us when to eat and sleep, and normalizes hormonal functions that occur at specific times of the day. We all know how important sleep is not just for our health but even for our weight loss! Vitamin D is important for health, including preventing cancer, hormonal problems, obesity and inflammation and having a strong immune system. As sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D, it only seems logical that spending more time outside would increase your vitamin D intake.
So the next time you have the opportunity to get outside for a brisk walk or a workout, take the chance to soak in that Mother Nature!