Go Green and Head Outdoors
By Donna Stark
It’s a natural human instinct to crave the outdoors, and when the seasons change from brutal winters to beautiful springs, that craving can be overwhelming. We refer to this feeling as “spring fever.” It’s when we sit in our classrooms, our offices, and our homes looking out of the windows, longing to put everything aside so we can spend the day rolling in the grass. But there is more that is being offered to us than just sunny days and warm breezes … there are actual health benefits that come from spending some time outside in the sun.
The Beauty of Nature
A beautiful aspect of being outdoors is that there is no one way to enjoy it. You can experience nature by hiking, fishing, jogging, walking, biking … the list is actually immeasurable, just as nature’s beauty is, but being outside will provide you with so many health benefits. Let’s take a look at a few.
- Feel better emotionally - Have you ever heard someone who is frustrated say that they are going to take a walk to clear their head? Being outside often leaves us calm, relaxed, and restored. It’s a great way to relieve and let go of the anger and tension we may be feeling at any given moment.
- Feel better physically - Time spent in nature has been shown to strengthen your immunity and is linked with a decrease in blood pressure, inflammation, stress, and depression. It has also been shown to encourage better workouts as it increases your natural levels of energy.
- Feel better mentally - Many people swear to the fact that being outdoors promotes creativity and focus and restores their attention levels. It’s a way to take a break from the everyday stressors and overstimulation that constantly bombard our desks, phones, and computers.
Bringing the Outdoors to Your Day
Our lives are so scattered and busy that finding some quality time to spend outdoors may seem daunting to you, but it’s easier than you think. Small increments of time can quickly add up to a significant amount of sunshine. Here are a few suggestions on how to add some extra outdoor time into your days that will hopefully get you thinking about how to add in even more.
- Take the longer route and walk at a leisurely pace from the parking lot to your office door
- Pack your lunch and eat it outside or choose the patio at your favorite restaurant
- Walk with your child to the bus stop
- Walk your dogs instead of sending them to the backyard
- Make business calls in the courtyard of your office
Even if green is not your favorite color, receiving all of the natural health benefits of being outside is a great reason to choose it. So push aside the beige walls and the gray concrete cinder blocks and “go green!”
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Raleigh, N.C.