Just Being Outdoors Has Health Benefits

health care" (CC BY-ND 2.0) by wahousegop

Someone once said the description of health is “to eat what you don’t
want, drink what you don’t like and do things you’d rather not.”
Comedian Redd Foxx added to this satirical remark by saying, “health
nuts are gonna look funny in a hospital dying of nothin.” Granted, these
are humorous comments about an important subject.

But have you really stopped to think just how vital your health is.
Without it our quality of life takes a downward spiral. Our physical and
mental wellbeing is also paramount to our overall happiness.

We have all heard in every media outlet how obesity is a growing
epidemic among children and adults in the United States. Correct me if
I’m wrong, but being overweight was not such a huge concern among the
population as little as several decades back.

Maybe that’s because back then there were only a handful of TV stations.
X-Boxes and Play Stations were not even thought of. Besides, there were
more important things to do like play outside with all your neighborhood
friends. And, if you wanted to “instant message” someone, you either
picked up the phone or rode your bike to their house.

In today’s technological age there are far too many pursuits that lure
children and adults into sedentary lifestyles. The uses of advanced
technologies do have their place, especially in research and educational
forums, but here we are exercising the mind.

Enjoying our outdoors is a great step in the right direction in leading
a healthier lifestyle and it’s as close as your front door. Better yet,
it comes with little or no cost. It can start with something as simple
as a daily walk. Whether included in a structured exercise program or
just a small part of a daily routine, all physical activity adds up to
an increase in your overall fitness. Feeling the wind in your face and
the sun on your back is much more enjoyable than trodding on a treadmill
in some sterile environment. You are also more likely to continue with a
physical activity you enjoy.

Every outdoor sporting activity possesses health benefits. Hunting, ice
fishing, camping and bicycling are all fun and build healthy minds and
bodies. Hiking, swimming, water and snow skiing are also great fitness
builders that can be done at our own particular level. Even shoveling
snow during our coldest season can prove therapeutic benefits, if done
in moderation depending on your physical level. Convenience is also
provided with the fact that we have activities that can be utilized
during every season.

Using our outdoor resources in a daily fitness routine also brings to
light another benefit – appreciation of our environment. After all,
isn’t our environment a barometer of our life? When trees, fish or
wildlife can no longer survive…how much longer can we?

Remember one thing.If you don’t make time for your health now…you will
have to make time for illness later!

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John Martino
Martino is a well-known outdoor writer throughout Indiana and has served as longtime outdoor columnist for the Kokomo Tribune newspaper. Martino has won numerous awards for both his writing and his service to youth, conservation and the community. He recently retired as Superintendent of Parks and Recreation for the City of Kokomo and now works as Ivy Tech Executive Director for Facilities for the Kokomo region.

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