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3 Ways to Get Outdoors for Your Health and Happiness

Studies in recent years have shown that being outdoors is good for us humans. Who would have thought that all our artificial spaces, food, light and materials don’t exactly nourish our wild animal spirits and bodies?

We’ve all heard that being outdoors has many benefits. Vitamin D, stress relief, greater perspective on what matters in life, fitness, connection, vision…the list goes on.

But for some reason, we still don’t get outside nearly enough.

Many of us go from home to work, to the store, back to home, and other than the travel to and from our vehicles we don’t spend any real time outdoors. This is seriously very commonplace in todays society, especially for full time office dwellers.

We go to the gym, we buy organic food, take vitamins, we do all kinds of things in the name good health but we are totally unaware that we should be getting outdoors for like 120 minutes a week too. Just like we get our fitness on or we drink our 8 glasses a day, we need to get outside for our health.

How do we make this happen in our lives?

1. Schedule It and Keep Score.

Plan time to be outdoors in your calendar if you have to. Plan hikes, outdoor activities, or simply sit in a park. I don’t think walking from the parking lot to your office really counts. I think spending the time being mindful of your surroundings is best. Is the grass green? Does the air smell fresh? Is the sky particularly blue today? Soak it all in.

Keep score if you have to. That’s 20 minutes a day 6 days a week.

If, like me, you have a checklist for water consumption and workouts completed, add a section for 20 minute increments spent in nature. This may inspire you, if all week you didn’t get outside, you can have a two hour picnic on Saturday or go for an hour long hike on Sunday to catch up.

I just love checking the boxes personally.

2. Research Green Spaces.

Not all of us are blessed with a back yard or local park. If you don’t have easy access to a great outdoor space do a little research to find green spaces near you. Check out your local Department of Natural Resources where you live, and find those public areas where you can recreate.

Maybe there is a park near your office where you can go have your lunch. Can you walk on your lunch break?

If you work from home, incorporate a walk or lunch outside into your daily routine.

Make the outdoor space you do have more comfortable and inviting. Get a comfortable chair or spread a blanket out and load up on the pillows. YESSS!!

3. Multi-Task.

Normally I wouldn’t recommend multi-tasking, but if it gets you outside, I say go for it. Maybe you don’t have extra time to sit out in the forest and just bathe…okay, do you have a 30 minute workout planned for today that you can move outdoors?

Can you find more ways to workout outside? 

Do you have any conference calls you can take outside on your phone? Do you have a report to read or some other activity that isn’t nailed to your desk?

Do you need to spend time with a friend or loved one? Can you plan an outdoor activity or sitting area? Meet them at a park instead of a restaurant?

When you make being outdoors a health priority like you do with food and exercise, it becomes higher on your to do list. The benefits and rewards outweigh the time it may take from your day so you have nothing to lose and so much to gain.

Stop feeling guilty about taking a nap in the hammock, it’s on your to do list…do it for your health.

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