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May 16, 2013 / Dale Melchin

10 Reasons Why You Need to Have Regular Outside Time

Do you remember hearing this when you were a kid?  “Stop playing your damn video games and get your ass outside!”  My mom or my dad would yell at me if I had spent most of my day indoors during a given summer.  Although not the best delivery, it some of the best advice they gave me.  Growing up.  I was not a terribly athletic kid and I’m trying to make up for that now with limited success in the here and now, but I digress.  After a little bit of push back I would go outside.  I’d play with the dog or I’d get out on my bike and ride around the town of Sherrard for hours on end.  And even though I didn’t become the Hercules that I am attempting to become having that regular outside time was great for me.  And here are 10 Reasons why.

The fresh air is good for you

This is kind of a duh statement, but it’s true.  Even in the best designed homes, the air is recycled, and it creates stagnancy   Its often worse in corporate buildings because environment is bigger.  Just simply breathing the outdoor air revitalizes you in ways that you wouldn’t if you stayed indoors.  I always take it seriously when someone says “I need to get some air!”  And let them do it.  Afterward the conversation often goes better after getting some fresh air.  So, if you spend the bulk of your time indoors, take a break and get some air!

The sun in moderate amounts is good for you

The reason?  Vitamin D.  There is an article by Natural News outlining the benefits of Vitamin D and some of the more negative effects of not having enough.  Go to that by clicking here.  If you don’t want to read the article, here is the bottom line.  It is effective in combating cancer.  Now obviously, you don’t want to overdo it.

You reconnect your primal self

Now granted, we generally aren’t out hunting or getting chased by a sabertooth tiger when are outside.  But there is just something that is natural and healing about being outside.  I believe that we are reconnecting with the life of our ancient ancestors when we do that.  Primal humanity spent most of its time outside.  This was because they had to hunt, fish, and gather to get food for survival.  You may even feel the urge to run or play more when you get outside.  That’s because we tended to spend most of our time in nature.

Being by water is serene

Unless you are hanging out by the lake during a storm, being by water is serene.  I can’t really put it into words.  But when I am just sitting by a lake writing or even meditating, that experience is enhanced by the presence of water.  You will enjoy it to I am sure.

Walking is great exercise

The legs were the primary form of transportation before the invention of the wheel.  It wasn’t always running either, although being able to run to safety did help us in our efforts to keep the sabertooth tiger from ruling the earth.  But seriously, having to walk everywhere and hunt for food kept ancient man in great shape.  This is one of the major downfalls of modern suburban development.  It is tough to walk everywhere.   You almost have to get into your car to drive a mile to get to the store, just for safety reasons alone.  I mean, you don’t have to, but it helps.  Conversely, this is an advantage to urban living.  You CAN walk everywhere and with the subway and rail systems available to us in those areas.

But seriously, walk more.  Last year I lost about 20 pounds by walking during my breaks and by playing in the park before going to work.  And this was before I started actively going to the gym and doing martial arts again.  I also watched what I ate very carefully.  That’s the challenge again this year.  But I know I can do it this time.  And I know that if I can do it, you can too!

It gives you greater space to workout and provides a constant change of scenery

This is related to the previous point.  Nature itself is its own gym.  If you go to the right places you can make it into your own gym and I’m not just talking about the exercise equipment that gets put up in the park, although it can help.  You can easily find heavy rocks or debris to lift and throw around without causing a hazard to others.  You can do pull ups on trees, squats while holding rocks.

Also if you are a martial artist, there is something refreshing about doing your sets outdoors.  Being in the sun enhances the exercise experience because you are sweating more.  And if you are person who likes to imagine, like I am.  You can pretend to be part of one those ancient armies fighting for its survival in the Far East.  Its fun!

Not only that if you do get the burst of energy and want to jog or run, there are plenty of natural obstacles to work with.  Although be forewarned  if you injure yourself, you can’t sue nature.  So toughen up or prepare to toughen up when you take it outside with your exercise.

Nature is generally peaceful, you get to take the opportunity take that peace with you.

Obviously, if you live in a more Rural Area, this isn’t entirely true.  You could still run into wolves, bears or even a mountain lion.  If your area is known for these natural hazards take the proper countermeasures with you to protect yourself.  And I’ll even say it.  If you own a gun and its registered, take it with you, if you are in the country, they are generally more understanding than in the city.

In the city, the problem isn’t with the animals sometimes its the people.  If your city or state permits it, take appropriate countermeasures with you, but don’t go looking for trouble.  People you can typically carefully walk away from them or negotiate.  Animals are entirely different, they don’t horsetrade.  Use your judgement.

With that said.  If you live in an area that is relatively safe with parks and such you can get into nature and have a high degree of peace overwhelm you and you can take it with you.  That way when it is getting stressful, you have a happy place to which you may go.

Companionship with nature

While nature can be troublesome when untamed.  If we make a regular visit to nature and no how to interact with it, it can become our life long friend.  It can be another sacred space we can retreat to process our problems and reconnect with the Absolute.  Getting away from civilization for several hours at a time has numerous positively impacting benefits.

Observe the animals

You can watch the birds flock, the deer run and if you live in the right area you can even watch predators taken down their prey.  While it is a terrible sight to watch, it is a reminder of the primal world we lived in so many years ago.

It can also provide opportunities for interaction with other people as well

While we generally go to nature to get away from people, you may find friendship among other nature lovers while you are out as well.  Even if it is a hello, goodbye or a short conversation.  People who enjoy nature are typically out there for the same reason you are, and it draws us together.

In conclusion.  Stop playing your video games and get outside!

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3 Comments

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  1. SGT Dan / May 16 2013 6:34 am

    I do a lot if “varmint hunting” on my small farm. When the wind is in my favor I like to don my 3D camp leaf suit and sit against a tree. The camouflage and the stillness give me the feeling of being consumed by, and therefore more so part of nature. I find myself simply spying on my quarry more than actually hunting it. Animals act different when they have no idea you’re there.

    • SGT Dan / May 16 2013 6:35 am

      *camo

    • Dale Melchin / May 17 2013 9:18 pm

      There you go, another great reason, to get more outside time. Thanks Dan!

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