The 8 Benefits Of Getting Outside During Covid
2020 -Spending More Time Inside and On Screens Than Ever
I think we would all agree that this year being the “Covid Year’ has been anything but normal. Typically by this time of year, my Triathlon racing season is over and I am so “overtrained” from cycling, running and swimming that I totally change up my training. Typically after having trained and racing all spring and summer and finishing by competing in the World Championships in September, I am ready for a little rest and rebuild time. Therefore this time of year I usually take some time off from running and biking other than a few weekend rides and start changing my focus to building strength in the gym.
Like many of you, I have found during Covid, I have spent significantly more time indoors than usual and much more time “on screens” having virtual meetings, calls, emails or viewing documents. Therefore, I have found that any time I have been getting outside to do any activities have felt amazing and more electrifying and energizing than ever.
Join Me In Getting Outside – Any Activity You Choose
This morning I rolled out of bed at 6:15 and was out cycling by 6:30. This was before sunrise however there was a beautiful slight “glow” in the sky over the lake. As I rode north and took some of my first very cool breaths, I couldn’t help but think how great it felt to get outside early in the morning, inhale cool fresh air into the lungs, experience nature and witness the earth “come alive” .
With me continuing to spend more time than usual in my home office and indoors, I shared with my family that I plan on continuing to get outside as much as I can to do my early morning workouts all fall and winter long, In fact with the nights turning colder, I am already using my winter gear so that I can continue to get outside as much as possible. I would encourage you to do the same and join me in getting outside as much as possible as the Fall and Winter approaches. This could be any activity you choose like going for a daily walk, hike, ride, snowshoe, cross country ski or whatever outdoor activity you choose.
I wanted to share some of the personal benefits that I experience every time I seem to get outside and in particular early in the morning to start my day:
1.Breath Fresh Air – I love getting outside so that I can breath fresh air. At this time of year I find it even more energizing as I typically get out early in the morning when the air is fresh and cool. I have previously written about the benefits I find of breathing exercises as a form of meditation. I find exercising outside is a form of meditation and gets oxygen circulating into our lungs and providing needed oxygen to our muscles and circulatory systems which provides us with energy for the day. If you missed my blog on my 3 favourite breathing techniques, you can access it here:https://kevinbradyhealth.ca/my-3-simple-techniques-for-stress-reduction/
2.Being Close To Nature – One of the main benefits I find about exercising outdoors and in particular in the country or less travelled roads is that it brings us close to nature. I feel there is nothing better for our soul and outlook on life than getting close to nature. I am always in awe with the beauty all around us that nature provides on a daily basis. Exercising outdoors allows us to notice all the beauty of nature – the sun, the rain, plants, flowers, grass, lakes to name a few.
3.Gets Muscles Moving– I find that by exercising outside, it provides a flow of oxygen to our body and our muscles. There is nothing more invigorating than getting our muscles moving in the morning. It is a way of getting our bodies moving, pumping blood through our circulatory system including our hearts and getting our lymphatic system flowing.
4.Positive Mind Set – I find that there is nothing that puts me in a more positive mindset than exercising outdoors. It is known that exercise alone releases endorphins which puts us in a very positive mind set. Exercise combined with being outside in nature puts us in a positive state and gets us ready to perform all day long, This is the main reason that I try to exercise early in the morning as I find it sets me up for an amazing day.
5.Living in the Moment – I find that by exercising outside, it really allows me to be ‘Present” and live in the moment. I can’t help but notice all that the beauty around me when exercising outdoors. To name a few – the rays of sun rising over the fields, fog in the crops, the fall golden colours, the corn fields, the birds, and the beauty of nature all around us. I find that nothing puts me in the present better than exercising outside.
6.Energized All Day – I find that nothing provides me with boundless energy more than getting outside in the morning, It puts me in a positive mindset and provides me with non stop energy all day long, If you find yourself dragging later in the day, I find a great way to provide our brains and our body with energy is to get outside for a quick break or a walk. In fact, when able, I have been trying to incorporate “walking meetings” into my day where I go for a walk and have a meeting with my earphones in. Try this and I am sure you will love it!
7.Appreciation Mind Set-I find that when I am outside in nature and notice all the beauty that the earth delivers that it puts me in a gratitude mind set. I can’t help but think how fortunate I am to be doing what am doing at that moment and how much I appreciate all the beauty surrounding me.
8.You Won’t Need a Cold Shower! – One of the comments I get most often is how people find it so tough to have a cold shower in the morning, I am still a huge believer in the benefits of a cold shower in the morning, however after a few very cold rides I have had lately, I have given myself permission to eliminate my cold shower from my daily routine. If you missed my blog on the Benefits of the Cold Shower, you can access it here:https://kevinbradyhealth.ca/a-cold-shower-every-day-will-change-your-life/
So my advice to everyone and in particular now as we head into the fall and winter is to get outside as much as possible and where able exercise outdoors. There has been a significant increase in anxiety and mental health issues during Covid and I find there is nothing better than getting outside to help reduce some of the anxieties we are all facing.
So in Summary the benefits I find of getting outside are as follows:
- It Floods Our System With Fresh Air
- It gets us Close To Nature
- It Gets Our Muscles Moving
- It Puts Us In A Positive Mindset
- It Allows Us To Be “In The Present”
- It Provides Energy All Day Long
- It Helps us Appreciate Life
- You Won’t Need Your Cold Shower!
Wishing you all the best in health and happiness,