At the beginning of May one of the bloggers that I follow (Dave from Minimalism and Your Money) issued a challenge: spend 100 hours outside this month. I didn’t hesitate before signing us up. Of course, after the fact, I realized that 100 hours roughly equates to 3 hours 15 minutes per day. That’s quite daunting when you think about those days when we can barely find 15 minutes to do something for ourselves. But that’s why it’s called a challenge. Sometimes you need a little push to get you going in the right direction and trust me, Angie and I needed this push!
We do a fair amount of outdoor living but nowhere near 3 hours a day. We should. Nature is good for the soul (and for your overall health and well-being too).
This year, I’ve been to the doctor more than I have in the past decade. Thankfully (as far as I know), I’m not ill, just aging. My years of avoiding anything that looks like structured exercise have caught up with me and despite the fact that I eat a 99% plant-based diet, I’m not as healthy as I could be. Though I passed the 24-hour blood-pressure monitoring test, my doctor still thinks I am at risk of hypertension, and my cholesterol is still borderline (though it did drop 46 points over the past year without medication).
How do I fix that? I think maybe the great outdoors holds the cure.
According to a recent article in Business Insider, the health benefits of being outside include:
- Lower blood pressure.
- Reduced inflammation
- Increased short-term memory
- Lower cortisol levels (stress hormone)
- Boosted immune system
- Increased creativity
I really could use all those things, so this outdoor challenge is very important to me. Plus, it helps us to branch out with our own project – 48 Great Dates.
So far this month, we’ve gone on two long hikes, spent a full day letterboxing, visited a U-pick strawberry patch, cruised a free antique car show and craft festival, and started eating lunch most days on the patio (rather than in front of YouTube). I also resurrected our “Go Out & Play” list from last year and narrowed it down to a May Play List. Fingers crossed, we plan to accomplish all of these items this month, while working toward the overall goal of 100 hours outdoors.
- Hit golf balls at the driving range
- Go letterboxing
- Go wading in the creek
- Hike to a waterfall
- Go to a baseball game
- Go paddle boarding
- Enjoy a picnic breakfast (in the park)
If you’d like to follow our progress, we’ll be posting updates to Instagram @minimalmelody
How much time do you spend outdoors? How might you improve that number? What ideas do you have for fun things to do outside?