Having wellness as a priority means making conscious choices to do the things that make us feel physically and emotionally healthier. It’s the pursuit of complete wellbeing, where we go beyond simply just surviving.
Looking after our wellness requires a great deal of consistency. Rather than making positive choices and changes every now and again, maintaining complete wellness in our lives means forming positive habits that will help to promote different aspects of our overall health.
From an early age, it’s ingrained in us that spending time outdoors is important. While young children perhaps view it more as an opportunity to socialise and develop their creativity, for adults, it serves an even deeper purpose of helping to promote both physical and mental wellness.
Earmarking the time each week to focus solely on our wellbeing can be difficult when work, family and other life commitments get in the way. But there are some simple activities that everyone can do to help manage these crucial aspects of your health, without demanding too much time.
Going for a walk is a popular outdoor activity that not only provides a great cardio workout but also helps alleviate stress and improves our mental health. Walking outside exposes us to the elements which can uplift our mood and reduce anxiety, whilst also helping to manage feelings of stress.
There are plenty of physical benefits to be had from heading out on regular brisk walks. You will burn more excess calories, helping to manage your weight, whilst also improving your stamina and overall heart health. To get the most physical benefits from your walking time, it’s important to walk at a brisk pace – which the NHS defines as around three miles an hour. Just ten minutes each day can bring about noticeable improvements in our physical health, so don’t feel like you have to set hours aside to go on a long hike to feel the benefits.
Cycling is another great outdoor activity that improves our cardiovascular health and strengthens our leg muscles. The rhythmic motion of pedalling can also clear our minds and reduce stress levels. Furthermore, it is an effective way to explore new places and enjoy nature.
Cycling is also a low-impact activity. This means that it may be more suitable than many other forms of exercise for people with poor mobility or injuries that can be made worse by vigorous physical activity. What’s more, it’s a great option if you’re looking to spend more time outdoors with your family or friends – cycling in a group can be extremely rewarding. Look up your local cycle routes and start using pedal power to promote a healthier lifestyle.
If you have access to your own outdoor space, gardening is an excellent outdoor activity that has several positive impacts on our wellbeing. Gardening can lower blood pressure, reduce stress levels, and boost our mood. In fact, research has shown that 87% of people feel that green spaces and gardens have a positive impact on their state of mind.
Connecting with nature and the earth has a beneficial effect on our mental health by promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety. Additionally, gardening can provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment as we watch our plants grow and flourish.
Popularised in western culture in the mid to late-1900s, yoga is an accessible, low-impact activity that can offer a plethora of benefits to our general wellbeing. According to one survey, 94% of people who take part in yoga sessions do so to support their wellness. While it can also be performed inside, practising yoga outdoors is a wonderful way to connect with nature and eliminate distractions from our environment.
Yoga is known for its many physical and mental benefits, including enhanced flexibility, better balance, and reduced stress. Practising yoga outside in the sunlight can also increase our vitamin D intake, which is essential for our bone health.
Outdoor activities can have a significant impact on our physical and mental wellbeing. Regular participation in activities such as hiking, cycling, gardening and yoga can improve our cardiovascular health, reduce stress, and enhance our mood. Additionally, being outdoors exposes us to natural elements such as sunlight and fresh air which can have positive effects on our overall health.
What’s most important is finding an activity you enjoy – it shouldn’t feel like a chore to have to get your weekly dose of physical activity completed. So experiment with a few different options until you fall into the habit of making exercise a part of your weekly routine.