Wellness Weekly: Explore the great outdoors this summer 

Explore the Great Outdoors – from the Live Well, Work Well newsletter 

Spending even a few moments outside daily can significantly improve your physical health by reducing muscle tension, regulating sleep and improving your work performance. Experiencing the outdoors — specifically, green spaces — can also provide some mental health benefits, including reduced anxiety and depression symptoms, decreased stress levels and improved overall mood.  

It may seem difficult to incorporate fresh air into your daily routine, so here are a few tips to spend more time in the great outdoors this summer:  

  • Find time throughout the day to be outside. Try to walk or do a similar activity before or after your workday. Alternatively, enjoy lunch outside instead of eating at your desk during the workweek. If working remotely, you could join virtual meetings outside in a quiet place with little background noise or try “walking meetings” with teammates. Focus on finding small ways to incorporate fresh air into each day.  
  • Move your workout outside. If you usually run on the treadmill, consider jogging around your neighborhood instead. Additionally, doing bodyweight or free weight exercises in your backyard or at a park can give you the same workout you would get in the gym but allow you to spend more time outside.  
  • Focus on the quality — not quantity — of your time outdoors. While outside, try to really listen to and look at what’s around you. Are there birds chirping? What color are the flowers? An intentional presence outdoors can help you feel more connected to nature and increase the benefits you receive from the fresh air.  
  • Find someone to explore with. It can be much easier to start a new habit when you have someone to do it with. As such, consider getting together with a partner or a group of friends to participate in outdoor activities.  
  • Bring nature indoors. Even when you can’t get outside for very long, you can still bring little pieces of the outdoors into your home. Think about purchasing a few house plants to place around your home or starting an indoor herb garden.  

Spending time outdoors can improve your physical and mental health, so take advantage of the longer summer days and get outside.