2020 was a year for the books. For most of us, it meant being anchored inside the four walls of our homes. We were locked in with our families, co-workers, with all of the things unpleasant thoughts in our heads. It is a wonder that the ability to enjoy time outside seemed like a luxury previously taken for granted. Before we would hear medical professionals go on and on about the benefits of absorbing nature, and now we have a chance to realize that yes, it’s a thing. Nature is an instant mood lifter, its source of vitamins and an insta-boost to get our creative juices flowing. So in the spirit of vitamin D and reduced stress, here are 4 effortless ways to get outside more.
1. Start With Small Doses
I have neither the time nor the desire to go outside.
It’s hot out there…
It’s cold out there…
There are bugs…
Outside is not where I want to be…
Most of us can probably relate to at least one of these points, so how do you overcome it? The answer is to go outside a little bit at a time. Think along the lines of exposure therapy. Instead of drinking your morning coffee in front of the news, go outside and let the crisp morning air help invigorate you for the day. Dedicate 15 minutes of your lunchtime to stepping out to soak up a dose of the mid-afternoon sun. Try everyday activities that only take around 10 or 15 minutes of your time. You might find the outdoor enthusiast in you comes out a little bit at a time too.
2. Get a Bike and Let the Good Times Roll
Biking is a double whammy of awesomeness in which you merge exercise and nature. You get spectacular benefits like improved brain health and stress relief, combined with mental clarity and… stress relief. Okay, those are the same thing, but point made! Get out and get rolling. Go for a spin around the neighborhood or ride on a local biking trail. For the experts of trail riding, try something new. Improve balance and reaction times with a bike balance trainer. Whether you want to break into more technical riding or just want to be more efficient to enjoy a safer ride, this tilt trainer is sure to deliver.
3. Start a garden
Ever wonder if you have a green thumb? Start a garden to test it out. This tip is especially for those who do not mind getting their hands dirty and literally digging right into nature. Gardening can be done alone or as a social activity. You’ll get all of the same sweet benefits of exercising outdoors, plus fresh and nutritious fruits and veggies if it turns out you do have a green thumb.
4. A Family/Friendly Affair
Studies show that you are 95 percent more likely to stick to a task if you do it with a friend. So instead of happy hour at the bar, spend that time in a park. Take your family or friends out for a picnic. Go hike a trail. Take a stroll around the block. Whatever you do, chances are you will have more fun and be much more likely to stick to the change.
In summary, go outside. Nature is good for you! It has numerous health benefits– reduced stress levels, boosted creativity levels, and increased vitamin intake – and can actually be a great way to socialize. Use these 4 easy tips to start your exploration of the great outdoors.
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