Winter is fading away, and the spring sun beckons for us to step outside and inhale a lungful of fresh, outdoor air. The new leaves on the trees are bright green, and the first wildflowers growing along alleys and roads and in between sidewalk cracks surprise us with an unexpected splash of color.
You have a choice. You can ignore the call to get outside and revel in all of nature’s splendor, or answer it with a hearty “yes.”
We were designed to live outside.
Most Westerners spend most of their days inside. Worse, they spend most of their days inside sitting down.
First of all, our bodies weren’t designed to sit. They were designed to stand up or lie down. Sitting takes a slow toll on your spine, and you can feel it after you’ve been in a chair for a while.
What about being outside? When you’re outside, you tend to move more, breathe better, and stress less. Of course, if you have a job that requires you to do hard, stressful work outside, set that last one aside.
The human body was made to move. Not constantly, or constantly fast. But it was certainly made to move much more than the average person does on a daily basis.
So take fifteen minutes of your lunch break today and go for a walk around the block, or through the park near your office high-rise. Take thirty minutes before supper to play ball with your kids, or your neighbor’s kids. Or to take a relaxing walk with your spouse.
Simply spending a total of one hour a day walking does a lot to improve muscle strength and endurance, increase circulation, improve digestion, and decrease stress.
Indoor air is filthy.
Unless you run a high-quality air purifier 24/7 in your house, the air inside your house is worse than the air outside – and much of the time, this holds true even in large metro areas. Inside, dust gets trapped and builds up. Furniture, carpet and paint off-gas chemicals. Pathogens, having nowhere to go, begin to concentrate.
So when the spring air begins to call you outside, get out and get fresher air. Your lungs will thank you. When your lungs don’t have as much purifying to do, your whole body is happier.
Walking makes you feel happy.
One of the biggest complaints people have today is that they don’t feel happy. There are various reasons for this, and one is the busy lifestyle that causes chronic stress.
Taking a walk, just for ten or fifteen minutes, does a lot to alleviate that stress. Moving your body gets the brain producing endorphins, those “feel good” chemicals. It also gets your blood pumping. When circulation increases, more blood goes to the brain, which improves concentration and can also improve your mood.
So if the beautiful spring weather has been calling your name, stick your head out the door, then the rest of your body, and go take a hike!