My dad used to drive me crazy, when I was growing up, with his persistent need for fresh air. Never mind that it is freezing outside and the open car window is like a whip to the face for everyone else in the car. Try being a teenager when all you want to do is stay locked up in your room, but have parents that insist on dragging you outside on hikes. The memories are almost too painful (just kidding).
Whether due to my dad’s love for the outdoors and fresh air, or if the addiction runs in the genes, I have found that I crave fresh air just as much as he does. Granted, I am not as bad (yet!) as my dad, but I am sure I will get there soon enough.
This obsession (or addiction) isn't really a bad one to have. Spending time outdoors can be healthy and usually involves some form of physical activity. I find myself happiest on walks and could honestly do it all day. One of the main reasons I could (maybe) be convinced to get a dog is because a dog would most likely enjoy daily walks with me more than my poor boyfriend, who does it just to be sweet (aww). Nevertheless, this made me wonder what exactly is so great about getting outside and breathing in some fresh air. Turns out there are quite a few reasons; I have shared my favorites below!
1. Improve Mood - Sunshine makes us happy and so does moving our bodies. Go outside for a quick walk or simply sit on your porch and enjoy the morning sun. Even if your bad mood doesn't suddenly disappear, it may give you a moment of perspective.
2. Increase Energy - Moving gives us a burst of energy and breathing in some fresh air can make us feel more alert and clear minded. Instead of grabbing coffee for an afternoon pick me up, go for a quick walk. Feel lethargic after sitting inside all day? Grab a friend and enjoy a drink outside at your favorite cafe or restaurant.
3. Calming Effect - The color green has a calming effect on all of us. Take a quick walk in the park and you'll be sure to feel more at ease. Also, removing yourself from work or daily chores, even for a few minutes, can do wonders to your stress levels. We all need breaks occasionally!
4. Health Benefits - Anything that gets us away from our screens has to be good! Whether it helps our eyes by not forcing them to stare at a glaring screen for a little bit, or simply getting our bodies to move, being outside can provide numerous health benefits. In addition, fresh air can also improve sleep (yay!).
5. Encourage Creativity - Sometimes all one needs to fix a problem is to go for a walk! Letting yourself step away from an issue can be just what you needed. Sit outside with a refreshing drink or go for a quick walk in your favorite park and I'm sure a new solution or idea will pop up!
Some of us are more addicted to the outdoors and fresh air than others (hi dad!). That being said, we can all benefit from spending more time outside no matter what the season! Next time you find yourself lacking the motivation or energy to accomplish things, or don't feel so great, put on your walking shoes and get outside! Or, simply open your window on a cool day and take a deep breath in.