A lot of things change in the summertime, but not everything.
Once schedules are switched around to accommodate seasonal changes it’s easy to get stuck in a routine again, one that may not set aside enough outside time for optimal physical and mental health.
Spending time outside is known to reduce stress, improve mood and lead to better quality sleep, along with many other benefits.
Even around Prescott, we can get into the mindset of “work” being something done inside, while outdoor pursuits usually fall into the “play” category and can get shunted aside in a time crunch.
So here are some really good reasons to slap on the sunscreen, find your shades and hurry outside for a sunny breath of pine-scented air:
1. Wake up!
Try to move at least part of your morning routine outside if you haven’t already; our cool mountain mornings have already tempted many of us! Breakfast and coffee on the deck with a view, yoga in the garden and even a skin care routine in your nook of the side yard can be a much more pleasant and effective way to rise.
2. Kick yourself out of the office
If you’re fortunate enough to be living or vacationing in Greater Prescott and have an office job that can be done outside at least some of the time, take advantage of it whenever you can. Find yourself a shady spot in your yard or a nearby park. You can even make a challenge of seeing how deep into the wilderness you can go while staying within communications range. .
3. Walk while you work
At least catch up on your voicemail while walking around the block or on a flat trail that won’t require too much of your attention. The Peavine and Iron King trails on a weekday are a couple that come to mind.
4. Move your workouts outside
Even if you’re using a treadmill or similar equipment, see if you have any outdoor outlets with adequate juice to operate them. And make sure to put exercise on your regular schedule and treat it like the priority it is.
5. Shuffle your weekly routine
Consider the stores you usually go to during the course of the week. Is walking or biking to any of them feasible? Are there nearby alternatives where you can shop? You could also check out the farmers markets in Prescott, Prescott Valley and Chino Valley or even the smaller outdoor markets and swap meets to see how many needs you can fill.
6. Volunteer your time
Seeking outdoor volunteering opportunities can make you feel good on a couple of different levels. Summer camps, environmental research groups and educational organizations are just a few of the places you can look for ideas.
Don’t knock it ‘til you try it. Head out with some friends or family and pitch a tent in Prescott National Forest for some unforgettable immersion into nature.