We all know that spending more time outdoors is something to aspire to. What might surprise you though is just how easy some outdoor activities are. People tend to conjure up images of backpacking across the country or living off the land for extended periods of time. While these outdoor activities might be a great way to spend more time outdoors, there are less dramatic ways to get outside and still soak up the benefits of being outside.
There are many benefits to stepping outside our insulated and air conditioned spaces. One benefit you might notice right away is the reduction in the amount of stress you feel. Sometimes just a quite space can help reduce stress levels, what better way to do this than by spending a few minutes at a park, near water, or in the woods.
There are actually so many benefits to being outdoors that we could not possibly mention them all here. However a few others include increased brain function and a better night sleep. There have been numerous studies done that show the benefits can include increased levels of concentration, more creativity, as well as a quick pick me up for alertness.
In addition studies show spending time outdoors can actually help you get a better night sleep. And really who couldn’t use a better night’s sleep?
As stated above the goal with these outdoor activities is to simply get you outdoors, so you can start soaking up all of these benefits plus many more!!!
As far as outdoor activities go it does not get much more easy or simple than this. All you have to do is simply open the door and step outside and once you are out there start moving at a moderate or faster pace depending on whether you are walking or running. Of course it needs to be stressed here that if you are not in great shape it is important to take it easy and listen to your body.
OK I can hear you now. Camping, I thought you said I was not going to have to live off the land and sleep on the ground. Don’t worry though there are different levels of camping available for folks. One form is a term called “Glamping” defined as glamorous camping. That doesn’t sound too bad.
Yard Sales/ Farmers Markets
A good one for those of you that might want to appreciate some time outside but never be too far away from the sport of shopping. To really maximize outside time for yard sales look for neighborhood yard sales, park your car at the entrance of the neighborhood and walk to each yard instead of driving. **Pro tip: don’t try to carry the sofa you just bought back to the car, better to bring the car to the sofa**.
Most of us have one or two bikes laying around the garage somewhere. This one is a great idea as it gets you outdoors but also might give you a little aerobic exercise if you’re not careful ;). Again as with walking or running if it’s been awhile since you got a little exercise take it easy and make sure to listen to your body. But once you’re out on the open road who doesn’t like the feel of the wind in their hair. I challenge you when riding a bike not to smile at least once, after all whether you are 8 or 80 who doesn’t like riding a bike?
Don’t get tripped up or overwhelmed with the concept of hiking. Hiking does not mean that you need to hit the Appalachian Trail and be gone for 2 weeks. Most people have a state or local park within a short driving distance that might have some very basic and short hiking trails to explore. This one can really maximize the nature aspect of being outdoors. A good idea regardless of the length of your hike though is to hike with a buddy for safety but in addition it’s just more fun hiking with a friend.
This one is pretty simple all though you certainly can get more involved in the hobby if you really enjoy the activity. In its simplest form head outside, find a comfortable place to sit, and keep an eye out for the local bird population that should be all around. Two helpful tips to maximize your enjoyment would be to bring a small pair of binoculars to get a closer look at those wonders of flight and to find a quite place to watch close to trees and green space.
This outdoor activity is great because not only do you get the benefits of fresh air and being in nature but you also get a front row seat. It’s hard to get a better vantage of nature than to be down on the ground with your hands in the soil. As another added advantage you might be able to improve the curb appeal of your home and possibly the neighborhood. Also is there anything more satisfying than being able to grow your own food no matter how small the portion.
One of my favorites outdoor activities is the picnic, as it combines two of my favorite things being outdoors and eating. Whether you enjoy your picnic at a local community park, the beach, or the lake they are all great. Again I think the simpler that you can make this activity the better as you are much more likely to follow through with it. Bring a blanket, maybe a few lawn chairs and some simple to prepare foods. Tip for maximum enjoyment especially if you have kids that are always quick to say “I’m bored!” is to bring some fun games to play. Such as a Frisbee, football, or maybe even a croquet set if you really want to go all out.
While I am sure there are a hundred more activities that you could enjoy outdoors hopefully this short list gets you outdoors or at least thinking of the possibilities that awaits you beyond the air conditioned cocoon that we all have grown so dependent on.
Hope to see you out there!!!