This series of four posts is inspired by Cottage Country’s Get Outside posting from not so long ago. The full image is shown at the bottom of this article and of course on Cottage Country’s original post.
Benefits of Getting Outside
As the image below demonstrates there are several benefits to getting outside. There are community benefits, cognitive benefits, health benefits etc. Hospital patients recover faster when they have a view. Natural views at work lead to increased satisfaction. Spending time in nature increases creativity, curiosity and problem solving abilities. Nature reduces anxiety, decreases stress, increases energy, increases immunity, lowers diabetes risk, increases vitamin D production, increases weight loss and fitness, and reduces symptoms of A.D.D. Stress is relieved within 2 minutes of exposure, memory and attention improves with one hour of exposure. And so on, and so on.
When you see this how can you dispute it? How can you go on living the life that you are? The facts are so black and white, yet we continue to choose the alternative! This takes me back to the questions I asked previously.
72 hours a week – how do you choose to use them?
Based on very simple math, 168 hours in a week subtract 56 hours for sleeping and 40 hours for working that leaves you with 72 hours. Assuming you don’t work or sleep outdoors, although both me and my wife can attest to camping under the stars and the benefits of it, what choices are you making with the remaining 72 hours of your week? Ask yourself some simple questions:
- How many hours a week do I spend in my car? going to/from work? What steps can I take to change this?
- How many hours a week do I spend in front of the television? What steps can I take to change this?
- How many hours a week do I spend doing chores in the house? (This includes cooking/cleaning/etc.) What steps can I take to change this?
- How many hours a week am I wasting indoors doing nothing? What steps can I take to change this?
What steps can you take to change your amount of time outdoors?
Maybe you could start going for a walk outside every day during your lunch break or coffee breaks. Maybe when you get home, instead of immediately sitting on the couch, you take the dog for a walk. Maybe you look at options for biking or walking to work? Maybe you dedicate one day on the weekend to spend the entire day outside. What can you do to increase the average time per week outside to more than 15 hours and 36 minutes?