Did you know that being outside has been scientifically proven to improve your Vitamin D levels? It lessens anxiety, improves your sleep, helps you focus better, and strengthens your immune system. If these reasons aren’t enough to get you outside, then let us do some convincing.
If you’re one of the millions of people with a job that requires you to work inside, your daily routine might sound a little like this: wake up, drive to work, get to the office, work for a few hours, take lunch (usually also indoors), get back to work for a few more hours, drive home, maybe stop at the gym on your way home (indoors), get home, relax, eat dinner (indoors). All of this indoor activity is normal, but it also means you’re breathing air-conditioned air most of the day and you aren’t getting any of the natural benefits that being outside provides.
Here are some ways you can easily incorporate breaths of fresh air into your day:
- Have your cup of joe on the patio
If you drink your morning coffee at home, try drinking it outside in your backyard. If your morning is all about multi-tasking, put your coffee in a to-go cup and take it with you while you take a walk around your apartment complex or neighborhood. Having a morning routine that includes spending 10 minutes outside will make you feel more calm and relaxed for the day ahead of you.
- Eat lunch under the sun
It’s easy to get consumed by your work while you’re at work. But it’s so important to not eat lunch at your desk. Eating lunch at your desk leads to less productivity throughout the day and a poor mental health state. Having your lunch outside under the sun, if it’s not too hot or cold is a nice change of scenery half way through the day that will help give you your daily dosage of Vitamin D. Studies have shown that lower levels of Vitamin D have been linked to higher levels of anxiety and depression. So get out there and consume some of those sunrays! Lunching outside also gives you a chance to get up and stretch and get those legs moving. Invite an officemate to join you on your Vitamin D filling lunch break if you feel like socializing.
- Go for a run outdoors
When you’re running on a treadmill, do you constantly look at the clock? If you do, you aren’t the only one. Running or briskly walking outside compared to indoors will have you more focused on enjoying the scenery around you and less wrapped up in how long you’ve been running. Studies have shown that outdoor workouts have a more positive effect on your mental and physical health compared to working out indoors. So if the purpose of your workout is to improve your physical health, why not take a run around the neighborhood to help improve your mental health at the same time. You might even end up working out harder and longer because you don’t have your eyes glued to the treadmill’s stopwatch.
- Adopt a pup
OK, so this suggestion is a big one and it’s at least a 10-year commitment. We get it. But, if you’re looking to make some big changes and want to have more healthy fun outside, adopting a dog is a great way to do this. Doggies force you to go outside. They need to be walked at least twice a day. Also, having a pup will make you want to do more things that involve bringing your pup with you. This can mean bringing your dog to a doggy beach on a Saturday morning or taking Spot on a short hike on a nearby trail. Might we add, there could be a whole article written about the mental health benefits that goes along with having a dog, but making you go outside more often is just one example that’s most relevant right now.
As Gary Snyder once said, “nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”