Expat Tips: Get Outdoors
Taking the time to exercise outdoors not only helps to prevent chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, but it also improves your mood and sleep, not to mention that it reduces your stress levels. Also, unlike working out at the gym, the outdoor environment provides cleaner air and that important dose of vitamin D. If you’re not one to do a full-blown workout, try something simple such as taking a brisk walk around your local park or even an evening stroll to your local gelateria.
Another great way to incorporate outdoor exercise into your daily routine is to cycle to work. Not only is this a cost-efficient means of transportation, it is also a more environmentally conscious one. If you do not have a bike, fear not! In most big cities there are bike-sharing companies which allow you to rent by the hour — meaning you can hop on and off whenever you please.
Take It to the Extreme
Opening yourself up to new experiences can often feel like a daunting venture, but why not just go for it and see where it leads you? If you are looking for a more adventurous way to get outdoors, take it to the extreme and try something new like abseiling or bungee jumping. Although it is probably not something you can do on a daily basis, trying an extreme sport will give you a rush of adrenaline and boost of self-confidence — proving to yourself that you’ve done something outside of your comfort zone.
Plan a Trip
Spending some time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life can really help you relax and recharge. Whether it is a day trip to somewhere local or a weekend trip away, be sure to disconnect from all your electronic devices, and appreciate the peace and tranquility of your natural surroundings.
Camping is a particularly good way to detach from technology, allowing you to spend quality time with loved ones, creating memories that will last a lifetime. You don’t have to travel a million miles away either; oftentimes you will be able to find whole new worlds just an hour or two away from home!
Get Off Public Transportation Early
One of the simplest ways to incorporate the outdoors into your daily commute is getting off the bus or train early (or parking your car a little further away). If you make the conscious decision to get off a few stops early and walk a larger portion of the way, you might discover new and exciting areas of your city, and your body will thank you for that extra bit of exercise.
Grow Your Own Green Oasis
Another way to get yourself out into the open and reconnecting with nature is by tending to your own yard. Instead of leaving all your gardening chores to one empty weekend, do small daily bursts!
Also consider turning a small part of your garden into a vegetable patch. Growing your own produce is easy than you might think; it just requires a little research and a fraction of your time. Besides, for all the nurture and effort you put in, you get so much in return — I remember the sensation of pride when my first cucumbers were ready to harvest!
If you live in a city where green space is limited, there are many community projects you can join which allow you to tend to your own plot of land. Alternatively, consider turning your balcony into a jungle with lots of potted leafy greens.