Outdoor Adventures – Fun and Healthy


Outdoor Adventures – Fun and Healthy

In the dark, cold winter, it’s easy to stay cooped up and fall out of our exercise routines. However, the longer days and budding trees are sure signs that spring has arrived.

And, as the world starts to crawl out and bloom, take the opportunity to get some fresh air and explore your area. This doesn’t mean you have to start training for a marathon or become a mountaineer — just make a few small changes to your routine to get some extra exercise and spend some more time outdoors.

Here are some ideas to help you get started:

  • Go on a hike: From a three-day backpacking adventure to a casual stroll, work different muscles by going on a hike. It doesn’t even have to be on a mountain –just find a trail nearby and take a friend for a few hours. Make sure to bring water bottle or two, as well as snacks and a First Aid kit. In addition to a good workout, a hike is a great opportunity for self-reflection and to have some alone time.
  • Ride your bike: When it’s too nice to drive your car and too far to walk, hop on your bike for a powerful workout and an eco-friendly mode of transportation. Enjoy the fresh spring air and tone your legs and rear-end in the process. If you’re a beginner cyclist, get a proper bike fit and avoid riding with headphones. And, most importantly, don’t forget your helmet!
  • Garden: Working in the yard is an easy way to burn calories and tone your muscles (think of all the squatting, lifting, walking, and digging!). If you don’t have a plot available in your backyard, or aren’t up for a big project, you can get a small planter box or flower bed to start. If you’re feeling more ambitious, get involved with a community garden, which is a great way to connect with people in your neighborhood and get fresh produce.
  • Meditate outdoors: If you don’t feel like working out, move your other hobbies outside, like meditation. The calming sounds of nature can help clear your mind and truly relax. It’s also a great opportunity for you to catch some extra rays and get out of your house, even if it is just on your deck.

Even if you don’t think you have the time to be regularly active this spring, try to move outside as much as possible. If you do regularly exercise, get out of the sweaty, crowded gym and take it outside! Just spending an extra hour each day outdoors will clear your mind and boost your overall wellness.


Photo credit: blisstree.com

How to Create a Stress-Free Workspace

548a04dbb0ae2_-_rby-desk-03-makeover-after-s2“Stress-free” is usually not the first thing that pops into our mind when we think about our workplace. Long meetings, hard deadlines, and dozens of distractions make work feel like, well, work.

As a result, we become more stressed. And as our stress levels increase, our productivity falls lower and lower, which only stresses us out even more! This vicious cycle can seem unavoidable, but in actuality, a few small changes to your workplace can make a profound difference on your attitude and stress levels while in the office.

Here are some 5 easy, DIY tips to create a stress-free workspace:

  • Personalize your space. Decorate your desk, with favorite pictures or mementos. This way, you’ll feel less like you’re at the office and more like you’re at home (or at least, in a space that feels like yours).
  • Organize. A messy desk is the number one cause of workplace stress. Start by keeping small garbage and recycling cans underneath your desk, so that it’s easy to get rid of trash and unwanted papers on a regular basis. Figure out which items you use most often, and sort them so that they are easily accessible. Make sure that you minimize the amount of papers out on your desk, because visual clutter can cause clutter in your brain, making it harder to focus.
  • Take five. It’s important to give your brain mental breaks, especially when working on something stressful and complicated. Short breaks between 1-5 minutes are incredibly helpful for reducing stress, and the aches and pains you may feel from long hours at a desk. Studies have shown that taking just one break, for less than five minutes, improves mental sharpness by an average of 13%, and that regular breaks of two minutes increase productivity by 11.15%.
  • Become one with nature. Add some plants to your office space, like a succulent or a houseplant. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, working in an environment with plants has been proven to lower stress, and decrease noise, room temperature, and humidity, ultimately creating a calming and cool space.
  • Make sure to stretch. It’s important to get regular exercise outside of work, but during the workday, you should also do small exercises to reduce your fatigue and stiffness. Oftentimes, we subconsciously tense our bodies when we’re stressed, so working out our knots is an important part of staying healthy. Try standing and stretching your arms over your head, resting your eyes on something calming, stretching your fingers, and slowly rotating or massaging your temples, neck, and forearms.

It’s no surprise that most people think of the workplace as a stressful environment. Our bodies are not made to be stationary for long periods of time, and stacks of clutter only add to our stress levels. In order to keep a positive mindset, it is incredibly important to listen to your body. Make your office space clean and let it reflect your personality, and you’ll be on track to a healthy and stress-free workday.

Photo credit: redbookmag.com