10 easy ways to get that daily dose of outdoors
HOME & GARDEN | June 1, 2018

10 easy ways to get that daily dose of outdoors

Do you ever get to the weekend and realise you've hardly spent more than five good minutes outside that whole week? Too many chores, too much time at a desk, on our devices, stressing, driving from responsibility to responsibility and then collapsing on the sofa at the end of the day? So what? That's just modern life, right? No real harm done, surely?

Sadly, no... Us human beings physically require a daily dose of full spectrum light in order to efficiently regulate our appetite, our sleep, our mood and our energy levels. This delicate balancing mechanism, known as our 'circadian clock', has an impact on everything we do!

Feeling groggy and out of sorts?

When we spend too much time indoors, under artificial lights and staring at screens, our internal clock is put out of kilter.

Woman reading her phone in bed at night

We might feel find it harder to get moving in the morning or foggy and unable to concentrate at work, start experiencing insomnia or other sleep disturbances, crave empty-calorie sweets, alcohol and processed foods, and easily become irritated or despondent.

Perhaps your body clock needs a reset...

Luckily for all of us 'circadian challenged' folks, two simple remedies go a long way towards recalibrating our internal clocks:

1) Avoid screens and bright white light for at least an hour before your regular bedtime. If you wake up during the night, try not to check your phone.

2) Break out of those boxes! Start with a target of at least 20 minutes outdoors in natural light each day, preferably in the morning to knock your body out of sleep mode. Head for a green space if you can, as spending time surrounded by nature is another proven way to boost your mood.

Remember to look after your skin. On bright days, wear sun protection, cover up with clothes and put on a pair of sunnies. You'll still get plenty of light just from being outside!

Fit the outdoors into your daily routine

If you're thinking, "But I simply haven't the time to swan around communing with nature. I'm a busy person!", why not consider...

>> Having breakfast outdoors instead of at the kitchen table

>> Scheduling a walking meeting instead of an in-office discussion

>> Cancelling the gym membership and signing up for an outdoor exercise class

>> Adding a 20-minute stroll to your lunchbreak routine

>> Socialising over a picnic in the park instead of at a café or restaurant

>> Sitting outside when you're making phone calls

>> Taking your work to a café with outdoor seating

>> Eating a packed lunch outdoors at lunchtime

>> Walking or cycling to work

>> Shopping for groceries at an outdoor market

How do you make sure your daily dose of outdoors? Share your tips and comments with us via Twitter and Facebook!

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