I LOVE being outside. Although, if you've been following me on social media, I'm sure you already knew that. Getting outside is so much more than a hobby to me, its a lifestyle. Aside from enhancing the quality of your days, spending more time in nature also has many positive affects on your life physically, mentally, and spiritually. Nature is where everything starts and ends. To think we were ever separate from nature is nothing short of naive. After all, what we do to the earth, we do to ourselves, and vice versa.
So without further ado, here are 9 Reasons to get your butt outside more often:
1. Nature alleviates anxiety. Spending time in nature grounds us. Try walking barefoot in the dirt or sand, or swimming in a natural body of water or river to feel instantly refreshed, rejuvenated, and relaxed.
2. Adventure always makes for better stories. Some of the best memories you'll have are from adventures that happen outside the little comfort box of your home.
3. Breathe better. There is no substitute for fresh air. House plants do their job to help purify the air in your home, but its not always enough. Spending too much time indoors, or in the city can have adverse affects on not just our lungs, but our whole body. As they say, the breath is boss. Try to think of your breath as fuel. What kind of fuel do you want to put in your body?
4. De-stress: Nature tends to relax us, not only because it grounds us but because it makes us more mindful. Everything that happens in nature, is happening now. It is always here and now. Nature is always present and abundant. Spending more time outside can synchronize you with the presence of nature: mindfulness. And when our awareness is situated in the present moment, there is no stress. Stress is simply the body being here and the mind being there. Think about it, when have you ever felt stress when you're fully present?
5. Sleep better. Nature 'naturally' resets our circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms can influence sleep-wake cycles, hormone release, body temperature and other important bodily functions. They have been linked to various sleep disorders, such as insomnia. Abnormal circadian rhythms have also been associated with obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder. So, go nature!
6. Exercise more frequently: Studies have shown that people who spend more time outside inadvertantly get more exercise. Likely because most outdoor activities involve you moving your butt. Or maybe its because people who spend more time outside are happier in general, and happy people want to feel good. Either way, that leads me to my next point...
7. Be happier: This is the most important reason I believe. Everyone simply wants to be happy. Getting outside more often has proven to boost your serotonin levels. Often times in colder countries like Canada, where I live, people who spend too much time inside during the winter can suffer from something called Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD) which makes people depressed. Sunshine is the antidote! Heading into the sunshine, even on a cooler day, is the quickest way to improve your mood.
8. Nature makes you feel alive. Everything about nature is ALIVE. From the dynamic living ecosystem of soil itself, to the billions of plants and trees, to the wildlife that nature provides, everything is alive. Spending time amongst all that makes you feel alive, too. And a part of the amazing cycle of life.
9. Because you deserve a good life. You really do.
Now, get outside and live your life to the fullest! If you live in the city, try walking home, spend your lunch hour in the park, go fishing after work, or plan to go camping for your weekends off. I promise you, it will improve the quality of your life.