Okay everyone, time to bust out the calculator or use your math skills and add up how much time you are outside on any given day. The power of being outside is so electric, natural, satisfying and is great for our body as well as our souls. We are animals and need to be outside in the elements feeling the sun and wind and not be contained and locked up inside our offices, houses, cars or cubicles. Maybe you are fortunate enough to work outside day in and day out and if you are, hopefully you are careful about it and use all the precautions of sunscreen, hat, sunglasses and/or long sleeve shirts. For most of us, I believe it is hard for us to even obtained 20 minutes of prolonged sun exposure. I believe we are in too much of a hurry, too stressed and too much on the go to sit back relax and enjoy the wonderful beauties of nature. I am asking you to add up your time outside and see where you stand and remember every minute counts. Here is my time log:
5 minutes in the morning taking my dogs out
1 minute walk from my car to work(I park about 100 steps away or so)
1 minute walk back to my car
15-30 minutes depending on 1 or 2 walks with my dogs
30-90 minutes on the days I play with my daughter(almost everyday)
45-90 minutes on the days I hit golf balls or practice putting
4+ hours on for a round of golf (which is generally once every 2 weeks)
At my minimum, I am outside 45 minutes plus everyday and maximum is around 3-4 hours. I do admit I am lucky enough to live in Southern California where the weather is gorgeous pretty much all year round with no humidity. I am also fortunate enough to live in a great area to where we walk to pretty much about every thing we need to go. The bank, grocery store, park, places to eat all are within walking distance.
One of the greatest benefits and vitamins we obtain from being outside is vitamin D. A truly underrated vitamin which is probably one of the easiest to ingest. All in takes is 15 to 20 minutes of natural sunlight every day. Add up your minutes and see where you stand and if you are less than 20 minutes of outside time a day, I suggest you re-evaluate your day and find ways to incorporate a little more outside time. I think a great time frame to be outside is around an hour spread out through most parts of the day. Maybe a brisk walk in the morning(my favorite time to walk), a park picnic for lunch and a slow stroll after dinner. Perhaps you are too busy, maybe you could suggest a walking meeting or walk outside on your conference calls, or park 5 minutes away from your place of business. Whatever the case may be, find ways to get outside each and every day.
Remember when we were kids and we could not wait to get outside after school? Or when our parents had a hard time asking us to come in for dinner or for the night? I want that kind of passion and excitement back in our lives today. One of the greatest underlying aspects about being outside is that it generally equals movement. How many people do you see outside in the sun not moving just sitting there? Unless you are counting the sun bathers then I say not too many. We become more alive when we are outside and find it hard to just sit there and do nothing.
Please enjoy your time outside because I know I will. I believe it is time to go play with daughter and act like a silly kid again.