5 Reasons To Get Outside This Autumn
Autumn is a magical time. The quiet contemplation of the sleepier season coupled with the burst of life and colour makes it a truly beautiful time of year. In fact, we believe that autumn is the perfect time to get outside.
This may feel counterintuitive. Afterall, as glorious as the autumn season is, it also brings with it shorter days and a sharp dip in temperature. Rain and wind are far more frequent and it can feel very appealing to opt for days curled under a blanket with a hot chocolate.
But (and it’s a big but!), the benefits of stepping outside of your front door and into the crisp outdoors are enormous. Read on for our guide on the top 5 reasons to get outside this autumn.
1. Autumn offers a colour paradise.
Perhaps the most unique thing about autumn is the colour that it ignites. Almost overnight, bursts of red, orange and yellow crop up in every corner. The trees glow and the ground rustles under the weight of rich leaves and smooth conkers. Pumpkins appear. The sky softens.
This magnificent shift in the colours around us is incredible to witness. By going outside - and seeing them firsthand - we get to feel closer to nature and at one with its generous tipping point.
2. Bright lights and cosier temperatures.
Yes - as we ‘fall back’ in autumn, darkness creeps in faster. However, the light that we do get in autumn is stunning.
There is something altogether invigorating about moving outside in autumn and sitting in between the bright sunlight and colder temperatures. Not only does it feel good, it is good for you. Soaking up the autumn/winter sun is a great way to boost your levels of vitamin D - vital for maintaining a healthy heart and bones. Plus, the cooler temperature can help boost your brain, activate your immune system and rejuvenate your skin. Not bad, hey?
3. Clear your mind.
Nature provides an unparalleled sanctuary in which to clear your mind of noise and distractions. Studies show that being in nature will speed the health recovery process, reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of cancer as well as lift people’s spirits. So, why stop drinking in all of these benefits just because we’ve waved goodbye to summer?
A huge deal of the research around the impact of nature on our mental health and wellbeing comes from Japan and a practice called Shinrin-yoku, otherwise known as Forest Bathing. Forest Bathing is the simple and natural act of absorbing the atmosphere of the forest to improve our health and healing. It provides an escape from the frantic noise and treadmill-like pace of society and in the lush green forests of Liyama - ‘Japan’s Hometown’ - every year over 2.5 million people walk the forest paths to ease stress and aid relaxation.
4. Autumn inspires the soul.
Any activity - be it hiking, cycling, running, kayaking, climbing - surrounded by the natural elements does wonders for our creativity.
Because it’s inspiring, right? And enjoying these activities among the glistening morning dew and the falling leaves is sure to fill our soul up to the brim.
Take this poem - Song for Autumn - by the linguistic genius, Mary Oliver:
In the deep fall
don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think
of the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep
inside their bodies? And don’t you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.
If it doesn’t make you want to lace up your walking boots and take a flask of hot tea out into the woods, then we’re not sure what will.
5. Autumn helps us to rebalance and find comfort.
During the autumn equinox, day and night are the same length. This gorgeous representation of literal balance merges seamlessly into the rest of the season. The sun also enters Libra - symbolised by a pair of balancing scales - and the surge of new nature calls us to reconnect with the earth.
Everything about it begs for balance; something that all too often, people struggle to maintain. And there is a beautiful comfort that comes with embracing balance, heightened by the physical need to warm up our bodies and lean into a ‘hibernation’ state of mind.
Why not bring balance to your busy day by carving out time to walk outside and feel your feet brush the earth? Wrap up in thick layers, buy that pumpkin spiced latte and lose yourself in the colourful sights all around you. There really is nothing like it.
Stepping outside is about so much more than exercise; it’s a state of mind.
Don’t shy away from time outdoors just because the sun isn’t shining. Take hold of everything autumn has to offer and reignite your energy, capacity and sense of wellbeing.
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