Amid the hustle and bustle of daily life, you need to find time to step outside and smell the roses. Fresh air and sunshine may seem inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, but they are incredibly important and can even help your body stave off illness. While you may not always be able to escape into the great outdoors for months at a time, there are many ways you can embrace the beauty of nature in smaller doses and with less commitment. This guide to six fun ways to spend more time outside will help you reconnect with Mother Nature in a way that best fits your individual schedule.
It may sound simple, but switching up your commute is a great way to score an extra bit of fresh air every day. Even if the weather doesn’t allow for an outdoor commute every day, taking an ambulatory approach even once or twice a week will allow you more time outdoors than you previously received. Biking to work is a great way to get outdoors and score a bit of essential exercise at the same time. If you live too far from the office for biking to be possible, consider altering your commute in a slightly smaller way. Park your car or hop off public transit a few blocks farther than you normally would. Those few extra blocks each day may not seem like much, but they’ll certainly add up over time. Throughout the rest of your workday, you’ll be glad for the few extra moments you got to spend in the sun.
One of the most fun ways to spend more time outside is by joining an outdoor sports team. Not only is this a fun way to get fresh air, but it’s also a great way to meet new people. The team you join can be as competitive or as laid-back as you like; the important thing is that you’re getting outside and having fun. For a more relaxed experience, consider forming an intramural team. If you’d prefer to kick your experience up a notch, consider joining a local league team instead. Bear in mind that you’ll likely have to contend with Mother Nature during your games and practices. Choose your sport wisely and be sure to dress accordingly so you’ll be ready for whatever the weather decides to throw at you. Baseball and soccer are great summer pastimes, and when the weather starts to turn more frigid, you can try activities such as ice hockey or curling.
If individual activities are more your speed, consider escaping into nature by taking your morning meditation outdoors. There’s no shortage of beautiful views and serene landscapes in the great outdoors, and bringing your daily meditation practice outside is a great way to get back to basics and embrace nature in all its glory. During your outdoor meditation practice, try to close your eyes and tune in to all the sounds and smells around you. Listen for the cheerful chirrups of morning birds and breathe in the scent of pine and fresh rain. If you prefer your meditation practice to have take a slightly more active approach, try yoga instead. You’ll be able to employ all the same methods of mindfulness while also improving your flexibility and muscle tone.
Not all outdoor activities require extreme physical prowess. There are plenty of hobbies that allow you to embrace the outdoors without working up too much of a sweat. Geocaching, for example, is an increasingly popular outdoor activity among children, teens, and adults. Guided by only a GPS, geocaching encourages participants to embark on an elaborate scavenger hunt in search of little treasures. Once you find a treasure, you’re encouraged to leave a different goody in its place for another geocacher to discover. Orienteering takes a similar approach to geocaching but requires participants to use more traditional navigational tools. This particular outdoor hobby teaches participants how to use a map and compass to navigate the great outdoors, while also providing them with essential outdoor survival information and experience. For a more relaxing outdoor hobby, consider taking up bird watching, fly fishing, or painting en plein air.
For a longer reprieve from the concrete jungle, consider embarking on a weekend camping trip. Depending on your experience and skill set, you may choose to camp out at a local campground or journey to a more secluded spot to pitch your tent. Regardless of how you choose to plan your adventure, camping is a great way to get back to basics and truly appreciate all life has to offer. Cooking your own meals over a fire and sleeping under the stars has an uncanny way of reminding you about what’s really important in life. Before you embark on your outdoor adventure, be sure you’re well prepared and fully stocked with all the necessary equipment. Outfitting yourself in high-quality camping gear and storing your equipment in a sturdy pack will enable you to trek to the highest mountains in search of the perfect campsite. At Escape Outdoors we offer a wide selection of packs by some of the most reputable outdoor backpack brands, including North Face, Patagonia, and Arc’Teryx, to ensure that you’ll be fully prepared no matter where the road takes you.
Planting a garden is a great way to get back to basics while also giving back to nature. Whether you’re interested in growing your own food or simply enjoy the effect flowers have on your home’s curb appeal, planting a garden will help you appreciate how beautiful and complex nature really is. Before beginning your garden, be sure to research which plants will grow best in your particular area. Every plant is different, and some will grow better in specific soil conditions or climates. The tangible rewards produced by your garden will provide you with a deep sense of pride in yourself and your time spent outdoors. Another great way to give back to the earth is by growing a bird- and bee-friendly garden. Planting items that attract bees, such as native wildflowers with long blooming cycles, will improve the number of pollinators in your area, effectively broadening your individual impact on the environment.
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