“Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about about mission statements.” -Peter Gibbons (Office Space)
Fluorescent lights and cubicles are going to be the death of us. The average American worker spends way too much time stuck indoors, usually trapped in a little box, sitting, under artificial lighting. Basically the polar opposite of everything we were designed to do.
Humans are meant to be outside, running, jumping, moving shit around and being active. For those of you whose idea of nature is the waterfall screensaver on your computer, I am not suggesting you quit your job and become a fire jumper in Montana or a park ranger in Alaska (although I admittedly flirt with those particular vocations on an almost daily basis). I’m just saying that there are benefits to getting outdoors and being active from time to time.
1. It’s a mood booster. It’s true that the dopamine and endorphins released while working out will elevate our mood, but did you know that getting your sweat on outside actually increases the effect? It’s true, exercise done outside will make you feel even better than performing the same exercise indoors.
2. It changes your perception. I know from personal experience that everything I do outside, seems so much harder to do inside.
Run a couple of miles outside? Sure, no problem! Do it on a treadmill? Ugghhhh!
Being outdoors changes your entire rate of perceived exertion. Most likely because it just feels more like playing, being outside lends an air of levity to what is typically seen as some sort of torturous obligation that we have to “get through” in a day.
3. You’ll be engaged. (No, not like that!) When you’re running on a wooded path or even a city sidewalk, you have to be aware of your surroundings, what you’re doing, what’s going on around you, whereas the treadmill can become very monotonous.
Outside, you must always focus on where you’re going to step next, whether or not that car is going to run the red light, is that monkey chasing me (an actual concern when I was running through a rainforest in Costa Rica) all the stuff that doesn’t cross your mind when you’re logging miles indoors while catching up on Scandal.
Obviously when you are outdoors there won’t be an assortment of dumbbells and things like that, so you will have to get a little creative. But there are almost limitless options when it comes to things you can do with just your bodyweight (squats, lunges, pushups, downward dog, etc.)
Now that the weather is getting nicer, challenge yourself to escape the cubicle and get outside. Sunshine, fresh air and reconnecting with nature is not just good for the human body, but for the soul as well.