Being outdoors has untold benefits for health and wellbeing
Go on – get out of your comfort zone
It’s so tempting at this time of year to flop on the sofa in front of the fire, or curl up under a fleecy blanket, get the microwave popcorn going and fire up Netflix, especially with all the restrictions of the pandemic. But then again, it is proven time and again that you will feel a whole lot better – and more sane – if you take a little time to stretch your legs and get outdoors for a while every day.
You don’t have to run a marathon or cycle for miles, a simple walk in the park is restorative on so many levels, here’s just a few good reasons to make the effort:
- Change your view
If you’ve been working or studying from home, as many of us have this year, you’ll know that life can become very limited and 2D. It’s a very short walk from the bedroom to the study or dining room and lack of activity impacts us both physically and mentally.If you’re feeling ‘chair-shaped’ and stale it’s high time to change your scenery. Most people have access to a park, woodland or riverbank, or maybe just an interesting walking route through town. Let’s do it!
- Breathe in the air
We’ve all got the central heating on and although the advice is to keep windows open, it can be tempting to ignore this when it’s cold outside.
But fresh air is vital to your wellbeing and here’s why:
- It stimulates mind and body, perking up your circulation and providing more energy and mental focus
- It clears the lungs and promotes tissue repair, important to help resist COVID-19
- It lowers blood pressure and heart rate
- It assists digestion and metabolism
- Need a mood boost?
For many this has been a particularly tough year and we still have a way to go before we will return to normality. The ongoing restrictions and uncertainty can lead to a low mood, anxiety and for some, even depression. It’s important to look for coping strategies and one of the simplest and most accessible is to get outdoors into the fresh air, and sunlight if possible.It has been clinically proven that exercise stimulates the body’s natural endorphin and serotonin production, giving you a natural lift.
- Burn some calories
Who’s been at the chocolate biscuits and wine? Or more to the point who hasn’t? We’ve had more reasons than ever to seek comfort in sweet treats and luxury foods in 2020, it was one of the few easily accessible pleasures that have kept us all going. And maybe it’s also kept our waistlines growing too! A daily walk is the ideal way to keep a balance i.e. calories in = calories out. Take a walk and know that you’re doing good, and if you have kids, they can burn off some excess energy too.
- Improve immunity
Walking can help protect you during cold and flu season. A study of over 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less.*
So there you have it – too many good reasons to ignore!
We hope you enjoy your Christmas break – and remember to take a stroll because you’ll be ticking all these boxes at the same time.