Too often, we go weeks at a time without getting out in nature. It’s not that we don’t value the outdoors, but that we feel we don’t have enough time to really experience it. Hard working people take one look at their work schedule, shake their head, and push that dream hiking adventure or family fishing expedition off for yet another year.
Skipping outdoor time can have numerous negative health impacts, from missing out on valuable vitamin D to greater feelings of stress. If your life doesn’t have room for a long excursion to your favorite forest or beach, it’s still important to get outside on a regular basis.
Luckily, getting outdoors might be simpler than you think. If you’ve been longing for more days in the sun, here are four ways to enjoy nature during your work days and weekends:
1. Check Out Local Parks
You may be wishing to get lost in a large, million-acre national park, but you can still experience a bit of nature on a smaller scale. Many states and local municipalities maintain medium-sized parks offer plenty of adventure-potential for your busy lifestyle. Visiting a local park can even be less stressful because you won’t have to plan for a long drive or many overnight stays. Since the average American drives 29.2 miles per day, a close-to-home adventure might be a welcome escape from your cumbersome commute!
2. Make Your Backyard An Outdoor Retreat
If you want your outdoor escapes to require even less driving time, look for ways to enjoy the outdoors at home. Those who have a backyard can make simple landscaping changes to encourage a camping-like atmosphere. Start by planting a garden with native species and trees. Hardwood trees may take between 40 to 60 years to mature, but other fruit trees and evergreen species can grow much more quickly to populate your private oasis. Even adding a fire pit can encourage an indoor-outdoor lifestyle, and homeowners who build fire pits can enjoy up to a 78% return on investment.
3. Do More of Your Daily Activities Outside
Sometimes, a few minutes outside in the sunshine can brighten your mood and energize your day. To log more hours out in nature, try taking your daily activities outside. Take your reading, phone calls, writing tasks, and even planning activities outside. Challenge yourself to see how many meals you can cook outside consecutively. Since 78% of campers enjoy cooking outside, simply making or eating meals outdoors can help you feel less cooped up indoors.
4. Change Up Your Fitness Routine
Hoping to get healthy and spend less time within four walls? Consider adopting a fitness plan that doesn’t require a gym or DVD player. Walking and running can easily be performed in many outdoor environments, as can bodyweight strength workouts like push-ups and squats. Mountain biking, kayaking, and rock climbing are all great adventures and fat-burners, but if your schedule doesn’t have room for such activities, a simple hour-long hike can still burn hundreds of calories!
Getting outside should be an escape from life’s stresses, and a chance to reconnect with both your body and the natural environment. Unfortunately, our busy schedules can sometimes make spending time outside seem like an unnecessary hassle. With these four tips, you can squeeze a few more sunny days and starry nights into your lifestyle.