These days, the average person’s energy levels seem to be quite low. Mostly, we chalk it up to processed foods, stress, and a lack of sleep.
But what if the real reason was a lack of time spent outdoors?
Think about it. Our species evolved running around in the Savannah. The last thing we did was spend all day indoors, typing on notebooks and watching TV. That’s only something that’s happened in the last one hundred years. Before recent decades, lifestyles like that were virtually unheard of (except, perhaps, in some British Victorian cities).
The human body is designed to run, jump, collect food, and build. It is not a machine that thrives in a small box – or an apartment.
Therefore, it is incumbent on all of us to do whatever we can to get outside more. We should do it for the sake of our health and well-being if nothing else.
In this post, we take a look at some of the practical ways you can personally get outside more and really start living. Here’s what you need to do:
Start Taking Phone Calls Outside
Unless you really need to be near a computer or something, there isn’t any real need to take phone calls indoors. Most of us do it that way through force of habit.
But making phone calls outside is a small thing that we can all do to enjoy some sunlight and fresh air. After fifteen minutes, you could feel like a completely new person, ready to take on the challenges of your schedule.
Take Your Afternoon Nap On The Grass
Crashing on your couch after you eat dinner is tempting. But if you really have to sleep in the afternoon, then you might be better off doing it outside on the grass. Fifteen minutes of sunlight shouldn’t lead to any burning. And if you’re worried about that, just slather some sunscreen over your body.
Take Your Work Outside With You
With so many people working remotely, we collectively have more opportunities to work outside than ever before. We don’t have to spend long days in dark rooms hunched over our computers. A trip to the garden or the local park is always an option.
You don’t have to spend long outside. Just 20 minutes can be enough to transform how you feel.
Learn To Surf
Sometimes you need a reason to go outside that goes beyond just catering to your wellbeing. You also want it to be fun.
That’s why so many people learn to surf. They want to experience the thrill of riding waves and getting out onto the ocean.
What’s more, activities like surfing can very easily turn into regular hobbies that get you outside more. When you surf, you don’t have to remind yourself to step outside, it just becomes a normal part of your life.
Get Into Walking Meetings
No matter what your position in your firm, nothing is stopping you from suggesting walking meetings. In fact, team members may actually appreciate it.
Walking meetings are exactly what they sound like: meetings that you conduct outside while walking in the fresh air. Getting people to physically move their bodies while they communicate increases energy, productivity, and creativity. People won’t fall asleep halfway through, which is a big bonus.
Lack of eye contact is a concern for some, but it might actually be a good thing for others. People who feel uncomfortable in conventional meetings may feel more at home while walking and chatting alongside colleagues outdoors.
Eat Your Lunch On A Bench Outside
Unless you work for a nightmare employer, most companies allow you to take a lunch break outside. Make sure that you take them up on the offer. Eating your lunch outside is a great way to soak up the sun and combine two activities in one. What’s more, if you start doing it, it’ll encourage others to follow suit and try it out for themselves.
Go Camping In A National Park
If you’re lucky enough to live in the Western world, then there’s a good chance that your country will have a smattering of national parks. These are zones you can roam in freely, without having to worry about trespassing. You can simply go out and enjoy nature in all its glory. Most make you want to be outside because the landscape is so stunning.
Camping is also a heck of a lot of fun, too, no matter who you are. You can take photos of local wildlife, go canoeing on lakes, take your bicycle with you, cook delicious food, and gather around the campfire in the evening for food and music. It gives you a sense of what life was like before the modern world.
Get A Dog
Getting a dog is one of the single best ways to get yourself to spend more time outside. If you know that fido needs walking, you’ll always make time in your day to be outdoors, no matter how busy you get.
Go Walking In The Woods Without Picking A Destination
If you’ve never walked in the woods without picking a destination, it is definitely something you should try. It’s a strange experience that frees you from the need to get somewhere or do something.
Interestingly, it’s something that ancient monks used to practice. Many would set out into the woods with some food and disappear for weeks at a time. The purpose of the exercise was to reconnect themselves to nature and leave civilization behind for a while.
If they needed to do it, then our need is even greater. Being so plugged into civilization all the time isn’t always healthy. Getting away from it all and reminding yourself that you are a human being is important in itself.
Do Something In The Mud
Some people like to get muddy. Really muddy.
If that’s you, then you can leverage mud to your advantage. If it’s been raining for the past few days and the ground is soaking wet, then you might want to get out, put your Wellies on, and go for a walk. Even better, if you have a mud race in your local area, go and join it. Wade through waist-deep mud with dozens of other people, all trying to reach the finish line first.
Go For A Backyard Cookout
If you have an outdoor kitchen, you might want to go for a backyard cookout. These are a great way to indulge in some alfresco living while getting a healthy dose of fresh air at the same time.
You don’t necessarily have to BBQ either, depending on the cooking facilities that you have. Smoking meat can be a lot of fun, as can just chopping vegetables for a salad.
Walk Behind A Waterfall
Depending on where you live, you might have the opportunity in your area to walk behind a waterfall. If you do, be sure to take the opportunity. It’s a surreal and amazing experience. Plus, it’s just the sort of thing that will incentivize you to get outdoors.
It’s also a great photo opportunity. You can post all your updates to your social pages, showing everyone where you’ve been.
Download Outdoor Tracking Apps
Tracking and sports apps, like Strava, add a competitive element to your outdoor pursuits. That’s because they show you who previously walked or cycled your routes, and the times they did them in.
These apps can be a great motivator to try to beat out the competition and set your own pace for your local loop. Just be warned though: most times seem impossibly fast (and probably are).
Go For Yoga In The Park
Doing yoga in your living room is never ideal. There’s not enough space, and there is always something you crash into whenever you do pigeon pose.
That’s why many people now take their yoga to the park. They want to be outdoors, exercising in the open, and soaking up the sun at the same time.
Read A Book Under A Tree
Kids often read books under trees. But as adults, we sometimes forget that this was once a pastime for us, too.
Reading a book under a tree can be an extremely relaxing and peaceful experience. As a rule, real books tend to be better than e-readers, but it depends on the model you buy. If you don’t like the wind turning pages for you, then the digital option is probably superior.
Plant Some Trees
According to scientists, the world needs more trees to soak up all the extra CO2 in the atmosphere. But you don’t need to wait for corporations or governments to do it. You can begin planting trees in your own backyard right now.
Naturally, you can plant whatever species you like. But if you want a crop in ten years’ time, then fruit trees are the way to go. Depending on where you live, you can plant apple trees, fig trees, pear trees, or even mango trees if you are somewhere tropical.
So, which of these ideas will you try to get outside more? Let us know.