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Get outside

When the days are shorter (and grayer) and the nights are longer it can be tempting to go into hibernation. But at this time of your it’s important to maintain your activity levels despite the pressures to do other things. Being outside has additional positive benefits you may not have considered.

Boosting feel good chemicals. Getting enough daylight exposure is necessary for the hormones that regulate mood and our sleep cycles. Being active and getting outside while the sun is shining will keep your body pumping out those chemicals. So try to get your workouts to include at least 20 minutes a day outside while the sun up.

Connecting to nature and green spaces. There are studies showing the benefits to our health and sense of wellbeing by spending time in nature. Being in green spaces, whether a trail run, a walk by the water or doing some drills in a sports field with trees nearby will all enhance mood. There’s a reason why people want to live near water or green spaces and cities around the world are working to green up their urban areas. It has great benefits for people, wildlife, air quality and manage the temperature of the surrounding area.

Good for eyesight. If you’re like me you spend a lot of time looking at screens. Or, if not looking at screens, living in an urban area we have few opportunities to focus our eyes further than the length of a room. Even when you’re in the gym or the studio how far away do your eyes need to focus? Just like having good range of motion, our eye muscles benefit from going to their full range of focus. Being outside gives us a chance to focus on distant mountains, tall trees and tracking moving animals.

Getting in your 10,000 (plus) steps. My readers are all active people. You likely don’t need to get more activity in your life. But getting in your training in a new setting, like a hike or trail run, just seems to make that training a little bit easier and fresher. Plus all that fresh air just feels so good in the lungs.