5 parts of your daily routine that you should do outdoors rather than indoors

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friends sitting at dinner table outdoors

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Increasing the time you spend outdoors can have a positive effect on nearly every aspect of your health, from your lung function to your mood, but fitting it into an already busy schedule can seem impossible. Here’s a better approach: move most of your daily routine outside and rack up those minutes of fresh air without any extra effort. Below we describe how to do just that.

Related: 10 Beautiful Outdoor Spaces That Will Make You Rethink Your Current Backyard

Exercise

Moving your workouts outside is one of the easiest ways to boost your vitamin D levels and reap the benefits of fresh air. Swap the treadmill for an outdoor run or take a walk around your neighborhood, a local school track, or a paved path through the woods, and incorporate stretching and bodyweight exercises for a HIIT workout complete. Or set up your yoga mat and broadcast a session in a small patch of grass in the garden; lifting weights on the patio; and jump rope in the driveway. Try to adjust your training to the weather, try new activities – paddle boarding, hiking or tae kwon do in the park – during the summer, and put on the right layers for warmth and sweat-wicking comfort in winter.

Cook and eat

In summer, al fresco dining is a welcome change, whether you’re sipping your morning coffee in the sun, hosting an all-day barbecue, or roasting s’mores after dark. But they don’t have to be the exception: make the effort to eat all your meals outside, either at the table or on a picnic blanket (don’t forget unbreakable glasses and plates, candles with lemongrass and cloth napkins). If you have a grill, break out burgers with recipes for grilled salad, watermelon, mixed berry desserts, skillet bread, bacon, and pizza. Or get creative with campfire cooking and add breakfast hash, lemon chicken and skillet pasta to your recipe repertoire for cooking over an open flame.

Work

Working from home doesn’t have to mean staring at your computer in a dark basement all day: set up your laptop outside to enjoy the stimulating benefits of fresh air and sunshine as far as your Wi-Fi signal can reach. reach. If your computer setup doesn’t allow for mobility, plan to take calls, update your calendar, and return voicemail while sitting on your patio or walking the dog. After work, make small changes to your socializing and self-care routines to maximize your time outdoors: read books and browse your news apps while sitting on the porch, set up an outdoor projector to host your movie night weekend under the stars, or listen to a baseball game around the fire pit, instead of staying inside to watch it.

Cheek

According to child mind institute, “the average American child spends about four to seven minutes playing outside” each day, which is not enough to fully benefit from the time spent outdoors, which can include increased creativity, physical activity, confidence and other life skills. Kids have a natural affinity for hanging out, once you get them away from their tablets, but you don’t need to structure every minute. Hike the trails at a local nature center, dodge the rocks at the water’s edge, or join a community garden and get your hands dirty. Add simple toys like play balls or buckets to your line of sidewalk chalks and bubbles and let your kids invent their own games. When they’re crying bored, bring the toys inside: use magnetic tiles to create a floating structure on your metal outdoor table, let the dolls have tea in the grass, or use chalk sidewalk to draw a race track for Matchbox cars. Hosting a party for all ages? Take out the board games for a family and all-purpose activity.

Sleep

According to a 2017 study from Current Biology, if late-night social media scrolling and morning alarms have disrupted your sleep schedule, spending as little as two nights outdoors can help bring your circadian rhythm back to normal. natural. the natural light-dark cycle stimulates melatonin production closer to bedtime and allows for more restful sleep. Prefer your own bed at night? Take a power nap on your porch loveseat or poolside lounge chair. It won’t have the same effect on your circadian rhythms, but the fresh air alone will still provide health benefits that go beyond the extra rest.

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