Monday, December 20, 2010

The importance of an active lifestyle/going outdoors

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When discussing health, what's most talked about is typically food (more specifically dieting... but we'll save that conversation for another time!). Exercise is normally thrown in there, but for many who have strayed a bit off track, they immediately picture hours of intense work at the gym daily until they ultimately burn out and remember why they hate the gym in the first place.

While I completely condone the gym, and do not think it should be taken out of the equation, I feel equally passionate about the importance of living an active life outside of the gym. Not only an active life, but an active life outdoors!

When I think of my favorite memories as a child I think of ACTIVITIES, mainly outdoor activities. Immediately I remember intense games of tag, hide and seek, make believe, family football games around the Holiday's... I am incredibly thankful for these memories because they are what give me my passion for the outdoors now. I am not suggesting that you hit up your neighbors for a weekly game of hide-and-seek, unless they're up for it :) but I am saying, "Don't forget about the outdoors!!" Get out there! Take a walk, make a snowman, ride a bike, start a garden, get your hands dirty! Walk to a store if there is one close enough, or pick the farthest parking spot from the entrance. While you're doing this, enjoy the scenery! Use the time to appreciate what's around you. If you don't feel you have enough time (it's been suggested to go out at least 15 min a day) limit your electronic intake. Cut back on TV, computer, phone, etc. and I bet you could free up at least 15 minutes a day!

When we started taking family walks everyday, they continued to lengthen because we got so much from them. The benefits are not only physical, but our relationship grows too! With a "no phone" policy we are able to spend the whole time talking and catching up, not to mention the stimulation our daughter receives from all the beautiful scenery. Everyone returns through the front door happier than we left. Now that the weather has dropped significantly, our walks have turned into increments of time playing in the backyard throughout the day. Most times I don't even bring any toys out back, my daughter's favorite activity is just listening to the sound her boots make on the ground as she walks around, and collecting sticks!

Here are some sites that have a little more information about the importance of getting outdoors!

Children Outdoors

Vitamin D

University Study

Article on active lifestyle

Do you have any information, research, or studies to share? Comment below or e-mail me at

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