There’s nothing like the outdoors-a cool breeze, the warmth of the sun, the stillness of the river. Did you know that the outdoors is one of the most underestimated forms of stress relief? It’s true! Setting aside time every day to get outside can improve improve your mood! This is because movement encourages the release of hormones like endorphins, which are known as “feel good” hormones. I never really believed this myself, until I tried it out.
So….I don’t know where you live, but I have lived in New England my whole life….and you know what that means-long, cold, hard Winters-EVERY year. Because of this, going outside during the Winter never crossed my mind. (If you haven’t figured it out yet, I despise the cold.) However, winter doesn’t equal no sun and I have always suffered from the “Winter Blues” on some level. Therefore, I decided to give this theory a try. A few years ago, I made a promise to myself to try going for a walk outside at least once a week-all year round. I’ll say this-today, I currently go for a walk almost every single day. In fact, I go to bed at night looking forward to my walk the day.
There were a number of reasons I wanted to walk outside consistently. However, the main one was that I had always heard walking is great for anxiety-something I once suffered from very severely. Again, I never believed this theory-until I tried it. However, the key here is CONSISTENCY. You must make it a part of your routine-slowly, at your own pace. (Oh, and the right clothes are a must-you don’t want to be too hot or too cold!)
What benefits did I get from doing this?
After walking outdoors consistently, I noticed I felt happier, more at peace and calm, more energized/focused, and it started my day off on the right foot. It also ended my day on an amazing note. It helped me on my weight loss journey as well. It’s a great way to get exercise in and it’s also a great activity to do with a friend, if you wish to! Overall, I felt great-mentally, emotionally, and physically!
When is the best time of day to walk outdoors?
There is no best time-it is entirely up to you and what your life and schedule looks like! First thing in the morning, an afternoon walk on your lunch break, or an evening stroll after dinner-all of these are great times to go for a walk!
So what are you waiting for? Start walking outdoors today-bring your friend or your dog! Throw some headphones on and listen to your favorite playlist! Whatever it is that makes it most appealing to you!