One Hour Outside: Spend a little bit of time outside every day.
We all also know how beneficial spending time outside is for us. We know, because science tells us, that moving our bodies (even just a little bit) outside, being in nature, in the fresh air, in the natural light, is good for us. It does wonders for body, mind and soul – good for physical health as well as mental health, good for our relationships, good for our decision making, good for our productivity, good for our energy levels and sleep patterns, and lots more besides.
But for most of us, life circumstances and commitments mean we spend most of our time indoors. We end up underneath a low ceiling, with walls around us where we can’t smell what’s outside, feel the breeze on our skin, or be touched by natural sunlight. Sometimes when we’re busy, we might not even know if it is day or night. It’s good to have shelter, it’s good to have a roof. But by falling into the trap of never allowing the sky to be our cover, we are missing out.
We should be outside, beyond the walls, where we can smell, feel, hear, and touch the real world. At least for a little bit of time each day.
Things To Do…
For me, getting outside, spending time in the countryside – whether it be hauling my somewhat unfit body up a big hill, removing my shoes and socks for a paddle in the cold ocean, or finding a quiet spot to enjoy a moment to myself and a flask of tea, is all about seeing the views with my own eyes. Rivers and trees, rolling hills, the ocean (especially the ocean), cloudy skies, wildlife and everything else, look great in photographs on social media and in magazines. But they’re even more amazing in person. And I live to see as many views with my own eyes as possible.
Even with my deep love of great views, and as a proud Ordnance Survey Champion, I can admit that I don’t always spend time outdoors on a daily basis. And so, One Hour Outside is a challenge I have set myself – and you – to get up and outside. Every day.
Spend Time Outside – Every Day
With One Hour Outside, very much aligned with Ordnance Survey’s GetOutside campaign, I am trying to encourage people to leave the comfort of their desk or sofa or kitchen, and go outside for a little bit of time every single day.
The idea of One Hour Outside came about when Ordnance Survey introduced me to a piece of research back in 2016 which suggested that a lot of people in the UK feel that a 15-minute walk is too far, and they take the car instead. I completely understand there are times and reasons when 15-minutes might be too much, but for more people and most of the time? That seemed a bit off to me.
And then there was the more recent research that says that when it comes to walking briskly, that’s around three miles an hour, those aged 40-60 to it less than 10 minutes each month. That’s right, ten minutes each month – that’s less than two hours a year!
The one-hour part is arbitrary really, it doesn’t actually matter if it’s more or less, but it’s a good amount of time, doable most days if we choose to. It might be before work, at lunch time, or in the evening. It might be walking, cycling, or indeed sitting. It might involve running errands, it might involve eating or drinking coffee. It might even involve going on an expedition, playing a team sport or doing something you have never done before. Whatever it is, it always involves being outside.
For All Of Us
I guess I’m trying to say two things with this. That spending time outside is for all of us, regardless of fitness, life goals, or perceived level of adventure. And that it is possible to make time to get outside into the fresh air and natural light most days if we choose to.
There are so many things to do outside there will always be something close to where you are, that fits within the time you have. I know some things cost money, but many don’t. And believe me, once you’ve started looking the ideas will keep coming.
November 30-Day Challenge
To give you a bit of encouragement, each November I run a 30-day challenge to see if we can all do just that… spend One Hour Outside every day for a month. I choose November specifically because it is a notoriously dark and damp month, we’re tired, and it’s easy to give in and hibernate. I mean, if you can spend time outside every day in November, you will have a habit the whole year round.
- It doesn’t have to be way out there; it can be in your own town or garden.
- It could be your job, your commute, or happen to fit in with your current daily routine.
- It can be from your own front door, or your office door, the door of your car service centre when you’re getting new tyres, or any other door you happen to be behind.
- It doesn’t have to involve specialist equipment. Although make sure you know when it should.
- It can be an adventure. But you don’t have to push your limits, crawl on your knees, or work so hard you’re aching the next day.
- You just have to go out there and experience the outdoors in your own way.
Spend one hour outside. Not because it’s pleasant and happy – even though it is – but because that’s where the meat of life is. You will soon notice the difference it makes. Get more from life with fresh air and natural light, not to mention those views that you cannot fail but fall in love with.
Share Using #OneHourOutside
Share your One Hour Outside stories, experiences and photographs using #OneHourOutside on your favourite social media. Let’s spread the word and make getting outside normal again, more of a habit and less of an occasion.