How much outdoor time do you get?

According to this June, 2019 article in Nature, “A growing body of epidemiological evidence indicates that greater exposure to, or ‘contact with’, natural environments (such as parks, woodlands and beaches) is associated with better health and well-being, at least among populations in high income, largely urbanised, societies. While the quantity and quality of evidence varies across outcomes, living in greener urban areas is associated with lower probabilities of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, asthma hospitalisation, mental distress, and ultimately mortality, among adults; and lower risks of obesity and myopia in children. Greater quantities of neighbourhood nature are also associated with better self-reported health, and subjective well-being in adults, and improved birth outcomes, and cognitive development, in children.”

Crystal Lake – WA

Speaking for myself, weekends spent in my house, binging on Netflix, working on the computer, or playing computer games, leaves me with a “blah” feeling that is hard to shake. Sunday night, rather than feeling rested and recovered, I feel unsettled and unsatisfied. I find work outdoors in the yard, a walk through the neighborhood, or along the waterfront, leaves me feeling refreshed and energetic. A paradox since I presumably burned more energy during my outside activity than just staying indoors. What’s more, I can sleep better.

The next time you find yourself “lounging” around the house feeling restless, irritable, and bored, try to get outside. If a walk, exercise or yard work are too daunting, just step outside and take a few deep breaths. You’ll be amazed how just a little fresh air can revitalize you. Who knows, maybe you’ll take a few steps more…