Take the party outside and soak up the last few weeks of summer — here’s a couple ideas to get you started.
Sometimes the best medicine for what ails us is so simple it’s easy to overlook. If you’re bored, feeling lethargic, wanting more exercise or in need of a vitamin D boost, you don’t need a prescription. Just open the door and go outside — the free health and wellness benefits of being outdoors are at your fingertips.
Here are six ideas for getting you off the couch and enjoying nature.
- Enjoy a Meal Outdoors.
If you’re already barbecuing, go ahead and eat your meal outdoors. This extra bit of sun exposure provides the body much needed vitamin D — a potential cancer fighter and bone strengthener.
- Forget TV Time.
Take the family on an after-dinner walk or bike ride. It’s a chance to get some fresh air, spend time as a family, increase your metabolism and help instill in children healthy lifestyle choices.
- Work Out Outside.
According to the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, people who exercise outdoors vs. those who exercise indoors spend more time engaging in outdoor activities, maintain better moods, feel more revitalized and have a greater desire to continue exercising.
- Grow a Garden.
Involve your kids in planting a garden with easy-to-grow fruits and vegetables. They’ll get quality, constructive time outdoors, and might be motivated to eat more fruits and vegetables. Or try a wildlife garden. Establish an area of the yard with bird feeders and fresh flowers to attract more wildlife. Kids can help tend the flowers and be exposed to the inherent influx of birds and insects.
- Play Outside.
Kids who spend an hour each day exercising and playing outdoors are more likely to succeed in school, avoid the pitfalls of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and experience less stress.
- Sleep Beneath the Stars.
If camping’s not for you, it doesn’t mean the bugs and lack of hot showers should deter you from this quintessential outdoor experience. Get the best of both worlds with a “sleep out” — just pitch a tent in the backyard and embrace the outdoors with your amenities only a few steps away.
Encourage your kids to get outside — and join them. Your family will only benefit from the fresh air, increased physical activity and the quality time together free of electronic devices. So turn off the TV and head for the sun.
How do you enjoy the outdoors to enjoy the benefits of fresh air? Let us know on our Twitter page with the hash tag #mybestmedicine.