One Hour Outside Challenge | November 2016

We all know that getting outside is good for us. There are so many reasons why we should be making an effort to spend as much time outdoors as possible – fresh air and natural light is good for our body, our mind, and possibly most importantly, our soul.

But how good are we at making sure we get time outdoors every day? Even just a little bit?

One Hour Outside - New Forest Walk

Some time outside in the New Forest.

A couple of weeks ago I posted what has become a very popular post here on Splodz Blogz, asking a very simple question, “have you spent an hour outside today?”. Even one hour can be tough sometimes, especially as winter draws in.

Inspired by the get out more often campaign and encouraged by the response to that blog post, I have decided to go ahead and set a month long challenge with the aim of getting myself – and all of you – outside more often in November. The mornings and evenings are dark, it’s cold and very often raining, there seems to be an awful lot of work to be done in the office, and there is very little time for anything else other than chores when we’re at home. But I want all of us to at least try to dedicate a small percentage of our day to getting fresh air each and every day for a whole month.

So, your challenge, no, your mission (should you choose to accept it…) is very simple:

Spend at least one hour outside every day in November

Sounds easy doesn’t it? Well I’m rather hoping it will be. Although I suspect some days it might be way harder than any of us would like it to be. Which is why I think it deserves the commitment.

I don’t mind what you do in your hour – walk, run, cycle, skateboard, rush around town running errands (but time in shops doesn’t count!), go geocaching, climb trees, chase butterflies (are they even around at this time of year?!), get out on a lake in a boat, sit and drink a flask of tea while your kids play in the park, sleep under the stars, or anything else that takes your fancy.

New Forest with OS

I love a good landscape photo. I hope to take loads more in November!

While it would be best for our personal wellbeing if we could manage that hour outside in daylight hours, I realise that could be next to impossible, and so I’m not going to specify that (this time!). I also don’t mind if you have to split it into two, three or four smaller bits of time – four lots of 15 minutes will do fine if you can’t manage a whole hour in one go. Just as long as you spend at least one hour without any kind of roof above your head, then I’m happy.

Oh and there’s no storing of time… we won’t be spending seven hours outside on a Saturday and then nothing for the next six days. Not for this challenge. By all means do that day hike at the weekend – awesome – but it’s still only one day ticked off.

I’d love it if you were to use this challenge as an opportunity to make a habit of getting outside every single day. Do it at lunch time, do it on your commute, go for a walk after dinner in the evening, or maybe you’re one of those people who can fit your hour in before breakfast. It doesn’t matter. As long as by bedtime every day for a whole month you can answer that important question “did you spend an hour outside today?” with a positive YES.

Tree in the New Forest with OS

Great looking tree in the New Forest.

I’m launching my One Hour Outside challenge a whole week before November actually starts so you have a little time to plan a few fun things so not all of the 30 one hour slots are walking around the block.

If you want some way of documenting how you’re doing, or want to encourage the whole family to take part by having something visual to help, I’ve created a printable record sheet that you can download. It’s a very simple calendar, but I know that something like this can help with the motivation. It would be super cool, if you choose to use the calendar, if you could take a snap of it sometime during the month so I can see how you’re doing.

OneHourOutside One Hour Outside Printable Calendar

Download the pdf version here.

If you’re taking part in the challenge please let me know. I’ll be keeping an eye on the hashtag #OneHourOutside over on twitter and instagram, and don’t forget to tag me @Splodz too.

Let’s make November our month of the outside, and see what a difference it makes to our body, mind and soul. Let’s turn what could be a dark and difficult month into one full of fresh air, clear heads and lots of energy. I’ll do my best to remind you throughout the month, but don’t forget this is as much a challenge for me so please drop me a line and encourage me too!

Are you up for this? Comment below and tell me. Let’s make November the month we a daily dose of the outdoors a habit. And let’s see if the research that says spending time outdoors every day is good for us is true!!

Life is all about the journey. Spend it outside, one hour at a time!

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