Three reasons to go outside today

“And into the forest, I go, to lose my mind and find my soul” -John Muir

Being outside on a sunny day, with the breeze brushing your arms and birds singing in the air, does some wonderful things for your body and mind. Keep reading to learn three proven benefits of spending more time outdoors.

Kaaterskill falls, New York

1.You will exercise. 

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health. It helps to reduce risk of heart disease as well as other illnesses. And overall improves your mental health and mood. When you take a walk outdoors you are getting great exercise and even using your muscles and making them stronger as you walk against the wind, go up a slight hill, or manage rocky terrain. Try setting a goal to walk for at least twenty minutes a day. 

2. Improve memory. 

Being outside helps to fight against mental fatigue as well as improve memory. Walking outside, or simply enjoying the outdoors for an hour was found to improve short-term memory by twenty percent, a study done by the University of Michigan found that walking outdoors, no matter the season or the weather, does great things for your memory and mental awareness. 

3. Reduce stress. 

Breathing fresh air is an instant stress reliever. Spending time outdoors has been found to have similar effects to a few minutes of meditating. It helps to lower your heart rate and control your blood pressure. Sunlight has been found to increase serotonin levels. This will help you to stay calm and be positive throughout the day. 

There are so many reasons to get moving and get outside, and hopefully these few will motivate you to slow down and take a breath of fresh air. 

Bringing my furry sidekick Lily along always adds extra joy.

How can I be more mindful?

 Three simple things that can be done to slow down your day and become more mindful. 

In this fast paced society it is far to easy to get caught up in a busy lifestyle. Too busy where you have no moments to stop, slow down, and center yourself. Keep reading for my favorite tips to being more mindful. Mindfulness is being aware of the present moment. It is important to be at peace with yourself, open to giving and receiving love and being happier with your day. Below are three exercises to add to your day, or performed any time you are feeling you have lost control of the present moment.

Minnewaska State Park Preserve

1. Deep Breathing.

Deep breathing is when you inhale, to fill your lungs as much as you can and letting your belly rise. Studies have shown that deep breathing allows a full oxygen exchange to occur. This slows your heart rate and can lower your blood pressure. Inhale through your nose and count to four. Hold and count to two. And now exhale counting to six. Repeat this at least three times. This exercise will help ground your mind and bring you back to the present moment.

2. Journaling.

I am a big believer in the benefits of journaling. Every night I write about my day. What I am thankful for, what could have been better and how I will improve tomorrow. Journaling is a way for your mind to decompress. Journaling will not only help you sleep better, but it is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety.

3. Stretching.

Stretching is a simple mindful activity. You can stretch at any time, any where and it requires no special equipment. Stretching helps to keep your muscles flexible, strong, and healthy. As you stretch try and hold for twenty seconds and repeat three times. Stretching should never cause pain. Stretching causes you to slow down and focus on your breathing and the movement.
The link below are some stretches that I do every day:

Always consult your health care provider before making any changes.