This post is sponsored by Zappos.
The Environmental Protection Agency says that the average American spends 93% of their lives indoors. The breakdown is 87% inside and 6% in vehicles.
93% of life spent indoors. That is just insane to me! For as along as I can remember, I have loved spending time outside. Growing up in small town Georgia, it wasn’t unusual for us to spend the majority of our days outside playing, biking around the neighborhood or at the pool. I spent summers outside at camp growing up and went on to work at camp as a counselor for five summers between graduating from high school and college. And I could go on and on about all the hours spent outside on my grandmother’s screened porch before she moved to Florida. (Where we now spend time outside on the balcony instead!)
I SPEND TIME OUTDOORS TO STAY HAPPY, GROUNDED AND PRESENT
As long as the weather is reasonably nice, I will ALWAYS choose to spend time outside rather than stay inside. I love eating outside, I love working outside, I love sitting on the beach, I love going for walks and hikes…just get me outside!
Whether it’s five minutes to literally sit outside like a lizard and soak up the sun or an hour long walk on the nature trails in my neighborhood, I always feel noticeably better afterwards. And if I can’t be outside, I am always wanting to open windows in my house or have the sunroof open in my car.
I’ve come to realize that being outside and spending time in nature has a huge impact on how I feel in my day-to-day life. Here are five ways that I find being outside benefits me the most.
IT BOOSTS MY MOOD + ENERGY LEVELS
If I am feeling blah or sluggish, doing something outside is a surefire way to boost my mood and energize me. There is something so invigorating about fresh air, whether its a sunny or overcast day.
IT IMPROVES MY MENTAL HEALTH
I can’t even begin to explain all of the ways that spending time outside benefits my mental health. There have been so many times where I have laced up my shoes and gone for a walk or a run because I didn’t know what else to do to deal with how I was feeling. The combination of being outside and the movement is one of the most dependable tools that I have for positively dealing with anxiety or other tough emotions.
IT REDUCES STRESS
Piggybacking on the mental health conversation, being outside is a healthy way for me to manage stress. We all know the negative effects that stress has on the body and I find that I can counteract so many of them by spending quality time outside. It helps me to see things with fresh perspective and gives me a renewed strength to manage what’s on my plate in a healthy way. I feel so much more relaxed when I am outside or immediately after spending time outdoors.
IT HELPS ME FOCUS
What’s even better than sitting and spending time outside? Meditating outside! I LOVE doing meditation sessions outside or outdoor yoga practices. I find peace, calm and clarity.
IT GROUNDS ME IN THE PRESENT
This leads me into my last benefit, being outside helps to ground me in the present. When I spend time in nature, I tend to be very in the moment. I am able to let go of past and future thinking, which can feed anxiety, depression and stress. I am able to instead find gratitude for whatever experience I am having in the moment. For some reason this is exponentially more powerful for if I am walking the dogs, walking with Finn or walking/running with a friend.
I have spent so much time walking this past year between pregnancy and new baby. It has been the biggest blessing in my life and I CANNOT sing the praises of getting out and walking enough to other expecting and new moms. It has saved my sanity on multiple occasions and just helped my pregnant and postpartum body to feel really good.
Now, you’re going to need a good pair of shoes for all of the time outside and walking! 🙂 Let’s talk about the pair that I’m wearing in the photos in this post.
MERRELL TRAIL GLOVE 4 KNIT FROM ZAPPOS
I don’t wear my road running shoes when I’m out walking the girls and Finn on the trails near my house. I recently needed new trail shoes so I turned to Zappos to get a pair from Merrell. Their products are specifically built to cater to the needs of outdoors lovers and they are so adaptable to a variety of uses.
Ordering shoes from Zappos is pretty much the best with their fast and free shipping. Also, you have 365 days to return your unworn purchase for a full refund…which is so generous.
I picked the Merrell Trail Glove 4 Knit shoe. I ordered them from Zappos on a Wednesday at 10 p.m. and they were on my doorstep that same Friday by lunch.
I love the Trail Glove 4 Knit! I have worn them every single day since they arrived! Here are some of my favorite features of this shoe from Merrell.
- Weighing in at just 6 ounces each, the Trail Glove 4 Knit is crazy lightweight
- The knit upper is breathable and comfortable, offering a sock-like fit
- The elastic cord lacing system is amazing and I so appreciate the ease it offers in getting the shoes on and off as well as not having to tie and retie shoes while I’m out walking
- These are part of Merrell’s barefoot line, which offers minimalist trail running shoes with a zero-drop experience
- They have Vibram rubber soles for great grip and stability on the trail
I have no doubt that these Merrell Trail Glove 4 Knit shoes will see me through many miles on the trails with my girls and Finn. I know that spending time outside will continue to be such an important way for me to stay as happy, grounded and present as possible.
If you had your choice, would you choose inside or outside and why?
What’s your favorite thing/biggest benefit about being outside?