Most of us don’t get outside as much as we should. We go from the kitchen to the car, hit the garage door opener, drive to our air-conditioned offices, then home again, sometimes without stepping outside. We drive our kids to the bus stop, they spend all day in class and between homework, supper and video games, unless they’re into sports, they’re not outdoors for very long. According to the EPA, the average American spends 93% of their life indoors.
It’s been proven that spending too much time inside increases the likelihood of getting sick due to the higher concentration of airborne pollutants. Too little time in natural light also throws off the internal clock, making it difficult to fall and stay asleep.
Spending more time outside increases natural serotonin levels and that’s good for relieving stress and helping you sleep. Even fifteen minutes of fresh air can lower your resting heart rate and reduce cortisol (a stress hormone) in the bloodstream.
How to Spend More Time Outside
Even the busiest among us can spend more time outside. Here are three tips that are easy to make a reality:
Work with a view
Spend time on your deck or patio; no reason you can’t answer emails or let your kids do their homework outdoors. If you’re working through lunch, look for a café with a patio; it’s good for creativity, productivity, and that change of scenery can put you in a better mood.
Discover what’s around you
Look for a park and take a walk or hike. Besides burning calories, you’ll soak up some vitamin D and enjoy some cool views. Don’t forget to fill up your HidrateSpark smart water bottle or hydration pack. And think about starting the day with an outdoor break. There’s new research showing that going outside right after you wake up boosts energy levels for the rest of the day and helps reset your internal clock. Even if you only have time to unplug and walk around the block, it will make a positive impact.
Chill with nature
Your backyard is a safe haven to relax, read or listen to music. Get a hammock; all you need is a starter hammock (which you can purchase online for around twenty dollars) and two trees. Or pitch a tent and get the whole family involved. No yard? Look for some green space, grab a camping chair, a book, and your headphones. The fresh air is guaranteed to invigorate you.
Spend More Time Outside...Your Way
Spending time outside doesn’t have to mean avoiding responsibilities or not getting things done. Make it work with your schedule and surroundings. However it works best for you, you can find a way to spend more time outside. Your body and mind will thank you.