Have you ever Googled ‘outdoor for your health’? 13 Million results pop up! All of them saying to GO OUTSIDE!!!!
Most of us spend our lives cooped up indoors at work 40+ hours per week. Add on the commute time and this is starting to get a little ridiculous on how much time we are losing out on fresh air and beautiful scenery around us. I am not saying you need to get out and backpack for days on end, sleep on the ground and get smellier day by day. I am just simply letting you know that you live in a beautiful place called planet earth and should take advantage of it once in a while. 🙂
Shinrin-yoku is a term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” This is a favorite of ours. Every time we are in the forest it feels like all stress goes away. Next time you walk into the forest, notice how you feel. Do you breathe deeper? Are you more calm? Is the air fresher? Do you feel the gentle hugs from the trees like we do?
If you don’t live in an area where there is a forest nearby, take a short adventure to where you can enjoy this feeling. Most cities have adopted green spaces to allow some space to get outside and enjoy nature.
How many people do you see outside hiking who are grumpy? Ok, yes sometimes the hubs hasn’t had enough caffeine but by the end of the hike, even he is all smiles! Less stress is a good thing for our bodies and our minds. Feeling more grounded and unplugging while out in nature can elevate your mood, at least for us it does! This is how we recharge from the stress of daily life. Escape to nature and you might even see your sleep improve.
Indoor Air vs Outdoor Air
Check out this article by the EPA on indoor air pollution and this article on how to test your home air quality and tell me this doesn’t make you want to immediately run to the forest! We don’t realize all of the gases that are in our furniture, our bedding, our clothing, and our electronics that are just stuck inside with us re-circulating. Thankfully my work office has windows we open daily for some fresh air! Not everyone is so lucky. Can you take a walk around your building? Is there a park near your office you can get out with a co-worker and breathe some outside air? Not bragging at all, but my office is in the middle of vineyards. Before you get all crazy, it gets super dusty when they are farming and it isn’t cheap to live in wine country so it isn’t all perfect. 😉 But I am grateful we have these opportunities around us.
The EPA has a really great map that will plot out your outdoor air quality for you. Take a look at your area and see how your outdoor air quality is.
Ways to get time outside
Ok, enough talk on WHY you should spend more time outside, and let’s talk about HOW.
- Walk your neighborhood. Put on some comfy shoes and get out and say hello to your neighbors. Maybe they will even walk with you!
- Check out your regional park’s website for hiking or strolling.
- Have a bike? Hop on and take advantage of the longer days!
- Volunteer at the parks!
- Walk to the coffee shop instead of drive.
- My favorite, watch the sunset!
- Go fly a kite.
- If you are lucky enough to live near the forest, get out and check out your backyard!
- Botanical gardens usually have a nice walk around the grounds you can enjoy.
- Walk at work!
- Find a meetup group that does hiking or walking groups in your area.
Do you have a favorite nature walk in your area? Leave a comment below, we’d love to check it out!