By Lindsey Grossman
The family that gets outside together, improves their health together. After a long New England winter, it’s time to come out of hibernation and connect with loved ones in the fresh spring air and warm sunshine. Fresh air not only cleans your lungs, it can also boost your mood, lower your heart rate, increase energy levels and even improve digestion (yes, that’s right). Florence Nightingale knew the benefits of fresh air long before any scientific study. “It is the unqualified result of all my experience with the sick, that second only to their need of fresh air is their need of light,” she once said. Read on for fun ways to cure that COVID-spawned cabin fever while boosting your well-being.
Right in Your Own Backyard
Getting out doesn’t have to mean going far. Planting a garden as a family or community creates some great teachable moments for eating your veggies. And there’s nothing more satisfying than sticking your hands in the dirt to destress.
Into the Great Wide Open
Looking for a change of scenery? Take to the trails! Hiking not only decreases stress and anxiety, it’s also great cardio. Or if the mention of a hike ignites eye rolls from your family or spouse, try geocaching. These GPS-based treasure hunts offer a playful way to explore your surroundings. Visit your area’s parks and recreation website to learn more about how to play.
No matter where you go, it’s gratifying just to know that the second you step out the door, you can reap fresh air’s rewards. Spending 30 minutes sitting in the sun on your back porch will earn you a full day’s dose of Vitamin D. Now all you have to do is lather on some sunscreen, head out and breathe in.