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    Break the “Indoor Generation”: 15 Excuses to Get Outside

    Can staying indoors be hazardous to your health?

    As someone who just spent Memorial Day Weekend camping and outdoors, it’s easy to see the benefits of spending time unplugged. Although it was a little tricky not to send a few “I’m not being eaten by bears” texts, it was a relief to avoid the iPhone buzz and “breaking” political updates over the weekend. Instead, we cooked delicious meals over the campfire, played card games and swapped stories while hiking. I arrived back in Philadelphia relaxed, happy and feeling revitalized.

    But science is starting to really show that getting outside isn’t just a stress relief but good for your overall health. Studies show that being cooped up indoors can cause allergies and illness, cut off your healthy gut bacteria and even fuel anxiety and insomnia. Staying stuck inside can be borderline scary.

    Velux, a lighting and window company, recently released a short film called the Indoor Generation. You can watch the full (3 minute) clip here:

    Although Velux is sharing a viral video to sell skylights, it’s easy to combat these “indoor” symptoms.

    15 Ways to Get Outside:

    1. Plan a hike with friends – human or canine. The Wissahickon is a short bike or train ride away from Center City.
    2. Take a walk or run outside. Bonus points if it’s in the morning – studies show that 45 minutes get you ready for the day and knock your body out of sleep mode.
    3. Grill outside or picnic on your stoop, roof deck or yard.
    4. Walk outside during your lunch break instead of sitting in a cafeteria.
    5. Bike or walk to work (instead of driving or using public transit)
    6. Exercise outdoors. Need to lift weights? There are free strength training apps for prompts like Sworkit.
    7. Meditate outdoors
    8. Swim in a lake or ocean.
    9. Aim to watch the sunrise or sunset once a week.
    10. Stargaze
    11. Try free yoga on the Race Street Pier.
    12. Schedule Hammock time in Fairmount Park
    13. Try to Stand up Paddleboarding or Kayaking nearby at Marsh Creek
    14. Visit a new national (or even local!) park.
    15. Walk around a local Farmers Market.

    Readers, what are your favorite ways to get outdoors? Tell us in the comments.


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    Julie Hancher

    About Julie Hancher

    Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake.

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