This guest post, for Great Outdoors Month, is from our Carlsbad member Melissa Wogahn.
As I mentioned in my previous blog post about enjoying an active lifestyle, I love the idea of camping. I love the crisp air, the breeze in the trees and the way an oven made out of cardboard can cook muffins on a cold morning (yes, I was a Girl Scout). Camping is one of those activities that allows me be active without really feeling that I’m “working out.”
This June marks the 19th year of the Great Outdoors Month. This movement was started in 1998 under President Clinton and it has been endorsed and has grown each year under both Presidents Bush and Obama. Even the comic strip Baby Blues has gotten in on the outdoor action. You don’t have to be a backpacker to enjoy what this country has to offer at its national and state parks, beaches and mountains. In fact, going outside can be a great way to revive, renew be more productive in our business.
As entrepreneurs, we don’t have the luxury of a worksite health program offering wellness classes and activities. We often find ourselves sitting indoors for hours at a time creating programs, completing projects or refining our business vision. Along with the stress of meeting income goals and without the support of office wellness offerings, it is easy to forget about our own health.
What I like about the Great Outdoors campaign is the push to remind us of the wondrous benefits the outdoors can offer. The National Institutes of Health report data suggesting outdoor physical activity can improve mental outlook, boost creativity, increase concentration, decrease stress and improve overall feeling of wellbeing. Research also indicates that simply going for a walk outdoors can reduce blood pressure, heart rate and the stress hormone cortisol.
If, as an entrepreneur, you find yourself easily swayed to stay in work mode and are looking for ways to ultimately be more productive, here are seven tips to get outside and enjoy the benefits of the great outdoors.
1. A short walk through a park can boost concentration.
2. Try taking your work or even phone calls outside.
3. Check out your community’s website for new trails or parks.
4. Check your community offerings for an outdoor yoga or meditation class.
5. Start a garden. Gardening not only aids in leg and core strength, it provides a connection to the natural world.
6. Try a new outdoor activity. Check out Meet Up. This platform offers a great way to connect with other people, especially welcome as a solo business owner.
7. If you really feel like you need to stay productive, why not download a few podcasts or an audiobook to listen to while walking or working in the garden?
Being outdoors can foster a sense of calm and wellbeing. I can’t think of a better way to feel grateful for the opportunity to be an entrepreneur.
Have a great summer and I’ll see you outside!
*Curious about the Girl Scout box oven? Here’s how to make one!
Melissa Wogahn is an exercise physiologist and a certified health and wellness coach. She is the author of Off the Couch: How to Find Joy in Physical Activity Even if You Hate to Exercise.
Connect with Melissa on Twitter: @melissawogahn