Sunday, October 19, 2014

500 Hours

500 hours outside, in the sun, rain, or snow. 500 hours, which is a little over an hour a day. It doesn't sound hard, but I know with my modern
indoor life it might be a little challenging, which is why I'm challenging myself and my family to it. I recently read a blog about a mom who pledged to get outside 1000 hours for the year. This is amazing, but she is a homeschooling mom, I am not. I don't think it would be possible to get out that much in a year. Maybe it is, I don't know, if I do well this year maybe I will up it for ourselves next year. I love being outside, but in my "old age" of in my mid 30s now I've become somewhat of a, hmm how should I put this nicely, another word for a cat. I dislike the cold and hot sun. I gripe about putting on layers for me, my 2 girls. I feel like in bad weather I spend more time putting on clothes then we spend outside.
Well no more. Fresh air solves so much, my vitamin D deficiency. It can help with cabin fever, get my in my garden more, help me move more to lose those last few pounds. Get my girls more active. Help us feel more connected to nature, less connected to the tv, facebook or online world. I'm very excited to give this a try, well not a try. I will do. I will log from tomorrow Oct 20 to the following Oct our outside time. I will only count my daughter outside 1/2 recess if I get out on my own and spend that time outside too. The log will be heavier somedays, light to nothing others, and that's okay. As long as come next October I will be outside for 500 hours. Children spend less than an average of 1/2 hour a day outdoors during the week and about 2 hours a day on weekends. This is about 208 hours outside on weekends and about 130 for the week. Well under my 500 goal. And this is from an older study from 2009, with the huge increase since then of smartphones and gadgets I would think those numbers are even lower today. There is a huge increase in ADHD, obesity, mental illness, social problems all since we have become a society who closes the door and stays inside. Study and study shows spending more time exercising and outdoors in nature, helps so many of our modern problems, especially with children. For myself I see this. Since I've graduated college and am not forced to walk a mile to and from classes in all weather I have noticed I get Seasonal affective disorder at times through out winter. Which with knowing I have low vitamin D this doesn't surprise me. I want to curl up in bed, watch tv all day or read. Okay so reading isn't bad. But getting outside is the number one suggestion for SADS and I just can't do it. Well no more. I will get us outside. I will turn off the tv. I will use our bodies and not let them become one with the couch. I will spend 500 hours outside.

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