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  • Writer's pictureAriana Stanton

3 Habits that provide you more free time to be outdoors

Keep Moving.

It can either seem like your day is incredibly long or incredibly short, and it may sometimes seem as if there is no time in your schedule to be outside getting vitamin D and fresh air. However, time spent outdoors is vital to be the happiest, healthiest, and best versions of ourselves, so here are three habits you can start to free up some time to step outside for at least 30 minutes.

1. Wake up Earlier/ Plan Ahead

As a college student, it pains me to admit that this is the most effective habit. My dad always told me that the earlier I got up, the more I could get done and the more time I could have for myself, and I used to ignore him and argue.

Over the summer, my family hosted a Spanish Olympian for a week, she had to be at the pool for practice at 9 am and somehow convinced me to join her and my mom on a 3-mile run at 7 am. This run changed my perspective on EVERYTHING. I got home at 8:30 and was more awake than I usually am. I had breakfast and started doing productive things. The best part was that my workout for the day was complete, AND it had been outside, so I knew I had gotten the vitamin D I needed. Now I am a massive advocate for waking up earlier to get your day started, that doesn't necessarily mean working out in the morning as soon as you get up, but it means jumping into activities before 9 am instead of starting at noon. This also gives you time to be outside if you didn't have it before. If you usually drink your coffee rushing out the door and chugging it on your drive to work, you can now stand/sit outside and read while you enjoy it or go for a quick walk with your dog.

2. Less TV and less Social Media

Social Media is fantastic. As a Gen Z'er, I stand by that. It is a way to stay connected with friends and see what they are up to, and keep in contact with people you may not see often. However, I can also admit that there are a ton of downsides to it, and the one I will focus on for this blog is how addictive it can be and how it quickly eats away at the time, and you don't even notice. The time you spend on your phone scrolling or staring at a tv screen watching episode after episode can instead be spent outside swimming or running/walking.

What I started doing is putting time limits on my apps that I use too much, it notifies me when I've surpassed an hour on the app, and that's when I know it is time to put the phone down and read or go outside or be productive and get some work done.

I completely understand that it is an excellent way to unwind and distract yourself every once in a while; however, too much of it and you miss out on chances at being active.

Replace too much screen time with a walk listening to a podcast, reading outside, going on a bike ride with a friend, or swimming.

3. Join the W.O.M.E.N group

Having something holding you accountable to make you get outside and be active is very important. Sometimes we make excuses for ourselves to stay in and cancel activities so we can sit around instead of going to work out. Whether we are "too tired" or "sore," the group gives you a date that you have to get up and be active; the best thing is, you know you will feel great afterward. The first step is getting up and going, and having a group of women supporting you that you know are also going to be there can help be a motivator. You also get a fantastic group of friends who share your love for the outdoors, a gourmet meal cooked for you, and a set-aside time to care for yourself and spend time in nature.

Wake up with the sun, get outside and make connections face to face, not through a screen. Have Fun, and feel free to comment on any other tips you may have to help fellow w.o.m.e.n!

Ariana Stanton

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