Want to spend more time outside, but need some tips for incorporating it into your lifestyle?
In the last post, we talked about why going outside is so crucial for good health. If you missed that post, catch up here. Now, let’s look at some practical steps you can take to make the outdoors part of your lifestyle – no matter how busy you are!
1. Eat Meals Outside
Even if you don’t have a porch, deck, or patio, you can make this happen. Purchase an inexpensive table and chairs at a yard sale or thrift store. You can even spread a blanket on the ground and call it good!
Eating al fresco is one of life’s simple pleasures – don’t miss it. When I spent 3 months on a study abroad program in Europe, it seems like we did this a lot more often than I’d ever experienced. Eating outdoors somehow made each dining experience more memorable. I recall eating Greek food on a mountain, sipping tea in the rain in England, and eating duck at night under twinkle lights in Paris. I don’t think I would have remembered these experiences the same way if I’d been inside a restaurant.
2. Exercise Outside
Workouts outdoors are, in my opinion, more beneficial than indoor workouts. This is because while you work out, you are simultaneously reducing stress hormones by connecting with nature. You’re also breathing fresh air into your lungs, which is great for your health.
If it’s raining, no worries! Throw on a poncho or hooded jacket and head out for a walk or jog. I enjoy doing yoga in the backyard on the soft grass – no yoga mat necessary! I love the feel of the earth beneath me as I get the added benefit of earthing while in downward facing dog.
3. Relax Outside
Do you spend your downtime on the couch or in your bed watching TV? Did you ever think about doing the same thing outside? Find a cheap lounge chair and some outdoor pillows. Cozy up a special little space and watch TV or surf the net on your phone, tablet, or computer. It’s just as relaxing but with the added benefit of being in nature.
4. Play Outside
One of my friends goes to yard sales every summer to find outside toys for her little ones. I think this is a great idea! Less clutter in your house, and your kids can use their imaginations in the great outdoors. Here’s a great post on outdoor play activities for kids that are sure to be a hit!
5. Work Outside
Starting a garden is a great way to spend more time outdoors and improve your family’s health while you do it! Food grown in your own backyard is easily the most nutritious on the planet. Why? YOU control what’s being sprayed on it and how it’s cared for. Also, food has the highest levels of vitamins/minerals as soon as it’s picked. The longer it sits on a truck or in a store, the more nutrients it loses. Read up on gardening and canning practices to enjoy your own food year round!
Another way to work outside is by line drying your clothes, washing cars and other large items, or simply doing computer work in the great outdoors.
6. Sleep Outside
Ok, this one might be a bit of a stretch, but hear me out. Try setting up a cozy air mattress on a nice night with your kids and see what you think! You might be surprised how relaxing sleeping under the stars can be. It’s a magical experience your kids (and you!) won’t soon forget. If your neighborhood isn’t conducive for outdoor sleeping, consider a camping trip!
Remember in the last post we discussed the benefits of earthing (physical contact with the ground)? Now, there’s a new thing called an earthing mat that mimics sleeping on the ground – it’s said to improve sleep and reduce inflammation and stress. If you’re not keen on actually sleeping outside, it’s something to consider.
Pick an idea from this list and get outside today!
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What’s your favorite outdoor activity?