One of the things that the lockdown measures imposed on citizens has brought home to many people is the fact that we take going outside for granted to such a large degree.
Those who are mobility challenged or who are forced to stay indoors for other reasons will already know how a breath of fresh air can be missed so much. However, for the vast majority of people, the last few months may well be the first time it has been something they’ve considered.
If you are lucky enough to have an outdoor space as part of your home, you might not have been impacted as much in recent weeks as those who live in apartments. Still, even a large garden doesn’t replace the feeling you get from going for a long walk, exercising in the park, or visiting the beach or a beauty spot.
As with many things in life, knowing that fresh air is good for you is something that comes naturally to people, and there are many firm scientific facts to back this up.
In modern society, the notion of exercising to keep fit is at the forefront of the minds of many people, but it often gets confused with having a gym membership or taking part in organized sports activities.
Many scientific and medical studies point towards the health benefits gained from taking a simple mid-paced walk outdoors. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in your local neighborhood or whether you travel somewhere else to walk, the very act of getting out and about helps to combat illness and disease associated with the modern sedentary lifestyle most of us lead.
It could be just taking the opportunity in your lunch break or walking all or part of the way to work or college each day – there is always some way to incorporate walking into your routine, and it might even save you money on transport costs, too.
Some people might underestimate the physical benefits of walking outdoors, but weight loss, blood pressure reduction, and many other positive health outcomes for your body have been proven time and time again. What might be even more surprising is the very real effect that getting a daily breath of fresh air can also have for your mental wellbeing.
There are many ways you can learn about how to get rid of anxiety and seeking professional help, whether that be counseling or medication, is advisable for those who are in desperate need.
However, for many of us, the stress and worry that build up to cause feelings of anxiety can be fought by some straightforward ‘do it yourself’ methods. One of the most powerful and effective of these is making sure you have regular access to outdoor recreation in the fresh air.
Not only does outdoor exercise of any kind allow you to take a break from your daily indoor routines, but it can also help your mental processes in many different ways. Getting outside and going for a walk can help you feel more ‘in the moment’ and achieve a level of mindfulness that aids relaxation.
Also, taking outdoor exercise gives you a chance to think things through in a different way, often making it easier to put a more positive spin on difficulties and therefore to see solutions rather than dwelling on any problems.
There is no doubt that the periods of ‘lockdown’ that have been implemented by the authorities to fight the coronavirus pandemic has led many of us to think about aspects of our lives that we haven’t concentrated on before.
For some, this has resulted in a wholesale re-evaluation of where they live and why, with a resulting desire to relocate to somewhere that gives more access to the outdoors.
For others, the simple restrictions on outdoor movement have given a new insight into what life must be like for many others who face those types of challenges every day, for whatever reasons, and to be more appreciative of our own lives.
One of the positives that might come out of this strange and bewildering event could be that more people than ever before are realizing the value of fresh air and outdoor activities. If they make an effort in their own ‘new normal’ to take advantage of the many positive effects that it offers, it could lead to significant physical and mental health improvements that might otherwise have been missed.