Yesterday was the first sunny day after a week of rain and clouds. I do not want to sound too trite but I felt like life returned to our house. I had this burning desire to go running however there was nobody to stay with the babies while they were sleeping.
After sitting at the computer half of the day and trying to figure out what to write about I decided to do something new. Every other day I do my Pilates and Yoga workout in the living room but yesterday I decided to take this workout outside. Having the baby monitor right by my side I headed out to the porch. It was almost like a summer day (actually better, because I didn’t have a flock of bugs chasing after me ) and I was totally inspired for my workout. I had the best hour devoted completely to myself that I’ve had in the last couple of months.
Yesterday was a total revelation for me. There is nothing ground-breaking in the fact that being outside is inspiring and totally healthy. I just thought that we spend so much time inside that we forget how important it is to be outside. Our lives revolve around computers, offices and desks. We are proud to be intellectual workers and we bury ourselves in the prison of modern-day comforts. After work a lot of us go home and watch TV or drive to the gym to lift weights and run a few miles on a boring treadmill. Even Mind & Body practices like Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates take you inside and force you to look at boring walls decorated with a few artificial plants or new age pictures.
We weren’t born with this great desire to be stuck inside. I agree that being inside is comfortable a lot of times (I would rather clean toilets than go outside in a blizzard or that rainy foggy weather when you feel your bones shivering under your skin) but we should not forget our natural environment – NATURE.
I have the worst days with my babies when we cannot go outside. Nobody told them that they need to be outdoors in order to be happy or healthy. They just want to go there and play in the sun, play with mud, sticks and rocks and enjoy being a part of a big and bright world. At 19 months they know what they need better than a lot of us – adults.
I’ve come across some interesting statistics lately about participation in outdoor activities. For the most part people have less than 24 outdoor outings every year. Isn’t that horrible? Do you really want to spend all your time inside like a plant in a greenhouse? Everybody knows that greenhouse vegetables and fruits are far less tasty than the ones grown in natural conditions. Do you think there is an analogy with people? Actually there is, here are just a few facts:
- 90% of people involved in outdoor activities (PIOA) say that getting outdoors reduces stress levels and leaves them with a sense of accomplishment
- 88% of PIOA say that it helps them escape the pressures of everyday life
- 79% believe that it keeps them young
- 79% of PIOA say that being outdoors strengthens their families, helps them to understand each other better and avoid conflicts
- 76% believe that being outdoors allows them to connect with themselves
- Being outside makes you healthier because sunshine boosts your body’s vitamin D production
- Outdoor activities are more satisfying and less boring than the ones at your local gym
- Being outdoors makes you more aware of the environment and your own responsibility to conserve it.
As you have probably already understood a simple way to nourish your body and soul without spending a dime is being outside. There are hundreds of things you can do outside on most days of the week and it could be a great idea to spend some special occasions outside too.
My husband gave me a wonderful surprise on our two year wedding anniversary. He took me hiking on a beautiful mountain located 45 minutes away from where we live. I could not get a better present than that. Restaurants, movies and adventure parks simply do not compare in my opinion. After we got to the top of the mountain we found a quiet spot overlooking the entire city of Charlotte and had a glass of wine to celebrate our special day. It was so amazing!
There is something about being outside that brings balance into your life. Maybe there is not enough research or studies done to prove it but not everything in our world can be measured by dull numbers and raw logic. Sometimes you just feel what your soul and body need and you just have to follow that desire. I believe that being outside is an essential part of bringing balance into life. How do you feel about it?
Keep it balanced!