Guest Blogger

#WeGetOutside Chat Round-Up: Getting Outside for our Health

Getting a dose of nature is good for our bodies and our brains. The #WeGetOutside community recently had a great discussion about how getting outdoors affects our mental and physical health.

We talked about how many of us have adapted the way we get outside to accommodate injuries, illness or chronic pain. From adjusting the length of time or difficulty level, to using hiking poles and walking sticks, to choosing gear that affords greater comfort, we have found ways to keep us “out there.”

We agree that getting outside gives us a much-needed mental boost. We get outside to start our day, to decompress from our day, to sort out a problem to the rhythm of our steps or paddle strokes, and find serenity. Is there anyone who doesn’t love that deep, green smell of a forest?

The mental boost we receive from spending time in nature includes a benefit to our creativity. Most of the community finds that their time outside has inspired them to take more photos, or paint and create art in a multitude of ways. One chatter expressed how many of us feel getting outside affects our creativity with the comment: “I am more in tune with the finer details; sounds & smells of nature.” I think if I could actually see the people sitting around our virtual campfire, I would have seen a lot of nodding heads with this comment.

The studies tell us it’s essential to go outside because of the benefits we experience from getting out there. The one thing we all admit is that finding the time to get outside “because it’s good for us” is hard.

Quick Tips from the #WeGetOutside Community:

When I asked for some tips on how to find or make time to get outside for the good of our health, I had a lot of answers that all centred around a couple of common themes:

  • Not every trip outside has to be a big deal. Simply walking in your neighbourhood allows you to reap the benefits of fresh air and Vitamin D!
  • Prioritize and plan some trips into your schedule, so they are easier to stick to.
  • Outdoor buddies!! If they say “yes”, you have to go!!! You can’t bail on the buddies.

There’s some great wisdom in this group that always helps me. This final comment from a good friend in the #WeGetOutside community resonated very strongly with me.

“At a time when I incurred a trauma, a physician friend of mine asked if I had been out to the forest for a walk. I told him I couldn’t get my head around that. He said: That’s your problem. You’re thinking about it. Just put your shoes on.”

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Gayle Labuz

“Get Outside. Go Explore. Do Stuff!” Gayle is an outdoor/lifestyle blogger who wants to inspire people to get outside, go explore and do stuff. She’s a hiker, camper, paddler, snowshoer and geocacher who loves to get outside with her daughter and husband. Gayle’s blog, Sometimes Eventful is all about her adventures with her family in Ontario’s outdoors. Gayle is also the host of the #WeGetOutside Twitter chat, which runs every Tuesday from September to May.

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