Wow – what a crazy, busy week I’ve had. We’ve all had those times: the boss piles a ton of work to be completed yesterday, the school bake sale requires 300 cupcakes within the hour, the volunteer group needs an emergency meeting, or a test got bumped up a week. I just had one of those weeks (and, truthfully, it’s not quite over). And yet, all I could think of was how I could squeeze in some outdoors time, even if it’s significantly less than I normally do.
How do you maintain your activity levels when your schedule fills up? We lead busy lives and time management skills help keep us sane. For me, keeping sane means ensuring I step away from my computer and get outside. I need my fresh air and on those busy, crazy times (like the holidays), time management and scheduling are my best friends. I can look at each day, determine my priorities, and figure out HOW – not IF – to fit some time outdoors into it. That may mean altering my usual routine and getting out for multiple short walks or perhaps it’s strapping the headlamp on for an evening ski, but the point is, I have to get out. Can I give up some of that Facebook or online games time?
We all know exercise is good for you but Active Women goes a step further and believes that outdoor exercise is even better. The 30 x 30 Challenge, created by the David Suzuki Foundation, has a wealth of information on the benefits of being outside and in nature and differentiates between simply “being outside” and “being in nature”. There are amazing benefits to exposing yourself to green spaces (even small ones): 2 minutes, that’s all a person needs in nature to reduce stress.
With 96% of North Americans’s day spent indoors or in a vehicle and the average child spends 6 hours of their day in front of a TV or computer, I have to wonder: What’s more important? Do I really need to watch that TV show? If I have time for a 30 minute show, do I not have time for a 30 minute walk? Can I really not find a bit of time during my crazy day for some fresh air? Furthermore, a brisk walk outdoors is also tied to increased creativity and problem solving ability meaning when I have a work problem, getting outside will actually help me solve that issue faster.
Did you get out every day this week? What did you do? If not, what steps could you take to try and get out? Identify those barriers and come up with solutions (there’s always a solution!).
With the holiday cookies and booze piling up, can you increase your outdoor activity just a few minutes every day? Whether it’s going from 0 minutes – 10 minutes to pick up the mail or just adding an extra 20 minute after dinner stroll to your regular activity, can you commit to getting out a bit more every day? Let me know in the Comments below – I’m sure your solutions to getting out while busy will help others.
Instagram challenge: I am (slowly!) learning Instagram! If you’re an Instagramer, take a photo of your outdoor activity for the day and #activewomencanada. I’d love to see them. I’ve been posting a few this week (as I get used to the program) and plan on being able to post an “active pic of the day”.
As for me: my crazy busy week is coming to an end but I DID manage to schedule in a minimum of a 40 minute walk every day plus a couple of x-country skis. Not surprisingly, I came back to my desk focussed and really knocked off some work. Thanks to the ladies who dragged me out during the middle of the day for a ski – sometimes, you really just need some friends for that motivation.