Why You Should Spend Far More Time Outside

Businessman spending time on bike outside

There is no denying that, on average, people spend more time indoors now than ever before. This is not just adults, young children too are more likely to be found playing inside their home than outside it.

It is estimated that a large number of children don’t even play outdoors. The ones that do are apparently spending less time out of their home than prison inmates. The adults aren’t much better with many of them devoting only about five percent of their day to being outside of a building.

There are many reasons that this is happening. People feel busier than they have before, meaning that they make less time for activities that they feel are ‘expendable’. An increase in the number of mobile devices that people use on a daily basis has also led to this reduced outdoors time.

Children and adults prefer to spend time on their various electronic devices than head outside. It is imperative that things start changing, however, and that everyone get more fresh air.

Female cyclist happy outside

Why It is a Good Idea to Be Outside

Let’s look at all of the health benefits associated with spending more time outdoors. When you are out and about in the sunshine, you are exposing yourself to natural Vitamin D.

This is quite difficult to absorb from food sources alone, making sunlight your best option.

Vitamin D helps in maintaining healthy bones and teeth as well as warding off numerous diseases. Being outside can also help to boost your mood and increase positive emotions. Not to mention, it is a great stress buster.

The other way that the great outdoors can be beneficial is by improving brain function and even increasing creativity levels. It is also a good remedy for old age. Senior citizens who spend a greater amount of time outside are less likely to experience common age-related medical issues.

All of this proves that spending a certain amount of time outside is beneficial to people of all ages. It is as important as maintaining a healthy diet and getting exercise.

As research shows, however, it is not so easy to get people outside. One of the reasons is because of the less amount of time that people feel that they have.

Below are some helpful tips on how you can overcome that.

Couple spending time outside

How to Make Time for Being Outside

If you feel like you are busier than ever, it might be just that – a feeling. According to research, many people actually have more leisure time than they did in the past.

However, due to stresses of work, individuals are able to enjoy this period less as they feel that they are not being productive.

Therefore, the first step to making time for being outside is to realize that you actually do have the time, no matter what it may feel like.

Take a look at your day, on average, what does it consist of? Now, it is more than likely that a good portion of your day is being eaten up by important tasks such as work, school, chores, and other responsibilities. At the same time, you may be wasting a good chunk of your day as well.

For instance, did you know that the average American spends five hours a day watching television? This time is much better spent being outdoors. This doesn’t mean that you have to completely give up your favorite TV shows. It just means devoting less time to it.

Similarly, you can work on substituting some of the more unimportant tasks with outdoor time.

So, now that you know the importance of being outdoors and how to make time for it, there is just one question. How can you spend more time outdoors? Well, here are some ideas.

Bike commuters

10 Ways to Spend Time Outdoors

  • Commute on Bike or Foot – A good part of your day is spent commuting back and forth. This is why it is a great opportunity to bike or walk – if the distance allows it – to work each day. This way you get to feel the sun on your face and the wind in your hair.

    You also get to work in a better mood. Not to mention, you won’t have to be stuck in traffic every day.

  • Eat Lunch Outside – Ok, perhaps as a travelling salesperson, biking to work is not an option. In this case, take full advantage of your lunch hour. Just take your lunch outside and sit down on the nearest bench.

    It will be even more fun if you can get your colleagues to join you as well. Doing this every day will provide you with most of the fresh air that you need.

  • Pencil It In – If you are a busy person, you have probably gotten into the habit of planning your week ahead. If this is the case, go ahead and pencil in some outdoor time.

    Try to find about thirty minutes or an hour that you can spend just even sitting outside or going for a walk.

  • Have a Weekly Picnic – This is a particularly great idea if you have children as they really will love it. Try to eat outdoors about two or three times a week.

    It isn’t that difficult actually, especially if you eat dinner as a family. Simply spread a picnic blanket in the yard and have everyone eat there.

Woman in a green garden

  • Start a Garden – Since you will be spending more time in your garden or backyard, it may be time to beautify it. Either by starting a garden or expanding the one that you have, you will be spending more time outside. You will also be able to enjoy the lovely fruits of your labor.

    Even if you don’t have much space, don’t let that stop you. Try tending to some potted plants outside or even just a planter full of herbs.

  • Go Camping – Camping is something that everyone can enjoy. Also, it doesn’t matter if you live near the woods, hills, or the desert – you can camp in any of these places. It is a bonus if you have to hike to get to your camping spot.

    Try to enjoy a camping trip at least once in every two months. If you feel as though tents are not your thing, there are cabins and other “glamping” options that may make you more comfortable.

  • Meet Up With Friends Outside – There is a good chance that most of the meetings with your friends take place in a mall, bar, restaurant, or some other indoor place. Change things up by meeting in parks, beaches, or in other outdoor areas.

    It is simply a matter of opting for different activities. Just make sure that they are as equally as fun as the indoor ones.

  • Work Outside – Do you find yourself having to work from home on the weekends? Well, this doesn’t mean that you still can’t spend time outside. Just move your laptop to your porch or garden and get some fresh air there.

    Even if you aren’t working, try to do some of the more mundane tasks outside. For instance, drink your morning coffee, sort through your mail, or make phone calls outside. These will all add up.

Man walking with dog

  • Find a Dog – If you have been thinking about getting a dog for a while, this is a good reason to get one. This way, you will make time in the mornings and the evenings to take your pup on a walk.

    If you don’t want to deal with the commitment of having a dog, why not borrow one. Perhaps a friend or even a local shelter will allow you to walk their pooches.

  • Join a Community or Social Group – Thanks to the internet, it is easier than ever to meet like-minded people. This is why it should be no trouble at all to find a group who meets regularly to spend more time outdoors.

    It could be a hiking group, walking group, or even those who like to do yoga outside. Having social support will make this a lot more likable activity.

There is no shortage of ways to spend more time outdoors. It is vital to understand the importance of doing so and making the effort of being outside more. You should also get friends, family members, and even colleagues involved in this endeavor.

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