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Why “Getting Outdoors More” Should be Your New Year’s Motto

Oh, the great outdoors. Mother nature. Wide open spaces. Our natural playground. Whatever you want to call it, the outdoors is a sacred place we can all enjoy on our own time, and carries numerous wellness benefits when enjoyed daily. Being outside in nature offers more than just a fun place to play. It can make you healthier, it can make you happier, it can make you sleep better, it can reduce your stress levels — the benefits are endless! When it comes to your New Year’s resolutions, hopes, and dreams, you’re likely to want to focus on the betterment of yourself in one way or another. And in our humble opinion, there’s a clear winner to achieve that: get outside more. Continue reading for our thoughts on why getting outdoors more should be your New Year’s motto.

Improve Your Sleep, One Bit of Sunshine at a Time

Each of our body’s internal time clocks follow the sun, causing us to stay awake during the day, and feel sleepy and rest at night. However, if you don’t take enough time during the day to expose yourself to the sun, your body can be sent mixed signals, ultimately affecting your circadian rhythm. The more you expose yourself to sunlight, the more your quality of rest will improve, the more you’ll feel tired at night, and the less time it will take you to actually fall asleep.

Being Outdoors = More Movement & Exercise

Typically, the more time you spend outdoors, the more you feel motivated to move. Being outdoors can serve as a space for motivation to do all the things: go for a walk, run a new trail, bike a new system, climb, paddle, ski — the list goes on. “Exercising” outside offers a nice change of pace from a typical gym, which helps in boosting motivation and making physical activity more enjoyable and less stagnant. And don’t scoff at the tasks that can feel mundane, like yard work or washing your car. These simple tasks all offer some health benefits when done outside.

New Year, New (Type Of) Therapy

Look at being outside as a form of therapy, offering a little mental clarity, if you will. There are far too many distractions in the world today where we lose sight of ourselves, thanks to screens, phones, and incessant pings and notifications. Let go of unnecessary distractions and turn to the natural world for a little refuge from the day-to-day. Being in nature can help you feel more relaxed, focused, and offers a safe space to unwind and recharge. While outside, make sure to take note of your five senses. What are five things you can: see, smell, hear, taste, and feel? This simple grounding technique can help you feel connected to nature, without draining your much-needed mental energy.

Vitamin D, Please

That little dose of happiness called Vitamin D is the direct result of sunlight hitting the skin, kickstarting the process of the creation and activation of Vitamin D. Just 15 to 20 minutes of sunlight exposure each day can help your body create sufficient Vitamin D, which leads to strong bones, promotes vitamin absorption, and can even reduce cancer growth. One very important rule – always wear sunscreen when in the sun.

Being exposed to sunlight can also have major positive effects on your body, including reducing the risk of heart disease, and lowering blood pressure and cortisol levels (your stress hormone). And one major perk of natural sunlight? It curbs depression and its symptoms, including poor mood and fatigue. So next time you’re feeling blue, step outside and get a free dose of sunshine to perk you right up.

Strengthen your bond with yourself, and the planet, by making it your goal to get outside more. 

Five of the Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions each year, include:

  • Exercise more
  • Lose weight
  • Live life to the fullest
  • Spend more time with family and friends
  • Learn a new skill or hobby

Think about each of those for a minute. With each of those goals, consider how being outside more can positively impact each goal, helping you get to where you want to be. With just a little effort and a lot of consistency, find yourself outdoors more seeking the greatest version of yourself, all while connecting with Mother Nature at its core.

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