This month, we are encouraging people to get outside as much as possible, whether it’s by taking their yoga mat to the park, hiking, biking, walking, or swimming. But, it’s not always easy to stop our routine and head for a great outdoor adventure, especially during the week when we have work, school, families to care for, etc. So we came up with some easy ways you can get outside during the workweek, even when you are busy, so that you can reap the amazing benefits of being outside in nature.
- In the morning: walk the dog before work instead of just letting it outside in the yard. This benefit is two fold: your dog will absolutely love it, and you will be getting in a little exercise before your day starts. On your walk, try to resist the urge to bring your smart phone with you to scroll through emails or social media feeds. See how it feels to just walk in silence with your dog and see the flowers, smell the morning, and hear the birds. This routine will leave you feeling refreshed, mentally present, and ready to face the day!
- Turn some of your meetings into walking meetings. Walking meetings are a new trend based on old traditions: walking and talking. Throughout history, walking, talking, thinking, and brainstorming have been linked; sitting down at a table to meet is a relatively new concept. Walking meetings encourages people to walk around the office, building, block, neighborhood, parking lot, etc. during business meetings. The benefits are numerous. It leaves people energized and more alert, it improves physical and mental well being, it enhances work relationships, and fosters creativity. Try it out at work and see if you feel any different!
- Take your lunch outside. This one seems like a no-brainer, but more and more people are taking working lunches at their desks. This can be a way to cram in more work during your day, but it can wreak havoc on your mind and your body. We need to take breaks for our health, and lunch is a great time to do it! Instead of rushing through your takeout at your desk hunched over a computer, take your food outside and enjoy a few moments of fresh air, delicious food, and a mental break from the nonstop work. Maybe even leave your phone behind and read a book! After you are done, your mind will be refreshed, and you will likely be even more alert and efficient for the rest of your work day.
- Enjoy some post-work day family time on your porch, balcony, the local pub or in your yard. After you and your partner get home from a long day at work, and the kids are home from school or camp, do you tend to zone out with some TV and other busy tasks such as homework or making dinner? Set aside some family time with no TV, cell phones, or distractions for you to all talk about your day, play in the yard, or enjoy a drink on the porch or patio. This short time spent outside can make such a difference in your family’s day, and can make everyone feel more bonded and refreshed.
Try any of these tips to squeeze in some outdoor time throughout your work week. You might just notice you feel reinvigorated mentally and physically! Who is ready to get outside now?