Go outside! It is good for you.

We are in mid-November.  The weather is somewhere between chilly and cold, the trees are bare, and snow is a topic of discussion.  While it is tempting to snuggle deep into the couch, binge watch some shows, and eat carbs (and only carbs), I beg of you: Go Outside.

Image result for picture of walkingI’m not asking for a major commitment.  I’m not asking you to train for a marathon, pedal into the wind, or make an elaborate snow castle.  I’m asking you to please tend to your mental health by getting a few minutes (10-20 minutes?) a day of outside time.  Take your dog for a walk.  Better yet, take your neighbor’s dog for a walk (random act of kindness!) or shovel their sidewalk. Get some fresh air, some sunshine, and a boost in mood.

Research indicates that outside time helps with a variety of things: lowering your blood pressure, improving your mood, and increasing Vitamin D. Going outside with a pal introduces a social component (yay for friends!) and also increases accountability.

Need some ideas about increasing outside time? I’ve got you covered!

  • Walk around your block a couple of times.
  • Shovel some additional paths.
  • No snow? Rake those leaves that are hanging around.
  • Grab some chalk and write a friendship note for your neighbor.
  • Walk your errands (swing by the post office, the bank, or the library on foot).
  • If you must drive, park at the FAR end of the parking lot for once.
  • Walk to get coffee or tea. Bring a friend.
  • Check out the lights in the trees.
  • Grab your camera and snap some pics. Bonus points if you post your pics on social media, but nothing else about your life that day.
  • Volunteer at a shelter to walk a dog or two.
  • Run errands for your elderly/injured/new parent neighbor.
  • Challenge yourself to get outside daily and track your progress on a calendar or an app.

I promise, outside time pays dividends.  Like the old commercial says, “Try it.  You’ll like it.”

 

Special thanks to my child, who suggested this topic.  I was whining, “What should I write about?” and she said, “Well, you are always telling me to go.outside. So maybe that?”