By Brittney Whipple
From childhood, we are told again and again that we need to spend time outdoors. This isn’t just something our parents chose to nag on us about though; being outside in nature has great benefits to our physical and mental health such as reducing stress, anxiety, and depression; improving concentration; improving eye health; boosting the immune system; and giving us a dose of Vitamin D. Also, chances are if you are outside you are moving around. Whether it is hiking, running, biking, or taking a walk, being outside is a valuable opportunity to get some exercise.
BUT- a lot of us are stuck inside at a desk all day, so when do we find the time to get outside? It’s important to remember that getting outside doesn't have to mean traveling far, participating in an extreme sport, or spending money on equipment and rentals. Simply choosing to just be outdoors more will have a positive impact on your well being.
Set the dinner table outside tonight
Do you have a patio, balcony, or even just a lawn chair? Why not take dinner outside tonight! Even at the end of the day when all we want to do is enjoy dinner and relax, you can find the time to get outdoors.
Skip the gym and visit the park
If the weather is nice, you could workout outside instead of in the gym. This will give you the chance to switch up your workout routine! Exercising outside can be much more exciting than the gym because of the fresh air and scenery. It could allow you to experience new things while also getting a workout, such as hiking a mountain trail.
Take a mid-day walk
Sometimes that mid-day grogginess can leave us feeling a lack of concentration. If you are feeling unproductive, take a moment to leave your desk and take a walk around the block to get your blood flowing. A short mental break with some fresh air will make you feel refreshed and ready to finish the day.
Leave your car keys
Often, we are so used to jumping in our cars we don’t think about how easy it would be to just walk. If you are able, errands are a great excuse to find the time to get outside. If the bank, store, or post office is just down the road, consider walking there!
Move hang-outs outdoors!
Although movie nights spent indoors are fun, there are plenty of other things we can do with our family and friends that will get us outside. How about going camping, or even just having a campfire? You could move your weekly coffee date outside to a table or to a park trail, visit the farmers market, or relax in a hammock instead of the couch.
Take advantage of your weekends and free time! It’s easy to let our weekends slip away from us, but by planning ahead of time we can make sure we spend a free day outdoors.
One final thought- At Keep Blount Beautiful, we believe our community should be well taken care of and appreciated so it can be enjoyed by all. When you are spending time outside, leave no trace! Be sure to dispose of your trash in a trash can and always respect wildlife.