Scientists have determined that 120 minutes a week or between 15-20 min (17 min. 15 sec.) is the amount of outdoor time needed for adults. Children require more.
I have women in my Moai (Okinawan social support groups 模合 Mo-ai) that "aren't nature people." The truth is, I understand not wanting to climb a mountain, deal with mosquitos, risk your hair, or deal with critters and animals.
Now forest bathing is overwhelmingly powerful when we look at health and mental benefits. The sheer stress-relieving benefits are crazy ridiculous.
But being outside is so much bigger than outdoor activities. It's what our bodies need. Stepping outside your home, place of work, grocery store, or shopping center is being outdoors. And all we need for some of the health benefits of getting outdoors is 120 minutes a week. That's simply 15-20 minutes a day - which is equivalent to walking to the bodega for your sandwich or choosing to eat lunch outside.
And the coolest part of it all is that the 20 minutes/day can be broken up in any way. Eight minutes to walk and grab a cuppa jo, three-minute walk to/from your car to the market (park farther away), a five-minute breathing sequence before you enter your home (breathe out all anxiety/negative energy from your day - breathe in joy, peace, and gratefulness). Or you can help your digestion system and take two ten minute walks after you eat lunch and dinner.
Reasons to get outside:
As a peripatetic, I can speak personally to the creative energy and mind-boosting elements of a short or long walk outdoors. Like many writers, philosophers, and inventors, my ideas flow when I'm outside - the research backs me up.
For the past seven years, I've had cycles of disrupted sleep. I know I'm not alone. Whether it be pregnancy, babies that don't sleep through the night, or my racing mind, I have had significant mental fatigue and walking throughout my day in a daze isn't an option. That said, taking time outdoors is shown to improve this issue.
Then there are the stress-reducing components, or the "restorative" properties of natural environments. Science shows that the restorative properties of nature can lower levels of anxiety and depression.
For me, the most crucial reason to go outside is to get that VITAMIN D… let's start by saying that a deficiency of Vitamin D is linked to:
-Bone issues, loss and pain
-Increase in cancer risk
Now, the crazy thing is that brown and black people, due to our skin's melanin, are at a higher risk of being Vitamin D deficit. Therefore, getting outside - while also taking a supplement - is critical.
To read more about Vitamin D deficiency, click here.
Well, I am about to take a morning walk with my little.
Edited by Ashley Yancey