I recently read a very interesting statistic in a popular magazine. The average American spends 90% of their life indoors. That’s 90%! After learning from my twenty years of living in Colorado, I would say that I am beating the odds for living on the outside. I remember the beautiful weather of the Rocky Mountains. Colorado claims over 250 days of sunshine annually. I was frequently enjoying the outdoors when I lived there: hiking, running, biking, and walking. When I think of most Americans in the 49 other states and the hours that we are sleeping, working at indoor jobs, and eating most meals indoors—and of course we have a lot of private things we must do behind closed doors–90% doesn’t seem too far fetched.
It is easy to list the many reasons Tim and I enjoy bike touring so much. One of the top reasons is being outdoors for at least 8-12 hours a day! When would you ever get an opportunity like that, unless you were a construction worker or a bridge builder, or a lifeguard in Florida?
The daily ecstasy of our bike tours is directly attributable to spending so much time outside. Just think of the endless enjoyment you would experience if you spent more time out-of-doors!
- You get an overdose of Vitamin D, which improves your bones, teeth, and immune system.
- You see how small you are in this big, beautiful world, and it humbles you. You are not shielded in your car, racing around the roads. Instead, you are unprotected and vulnerable. That made me better appreciate God’s role as my protector. I needed Him daily then, and I need Him daily now!
- You are breathing in fresh air (most of the time), inhaling the scents of pine trees, home-cooked meals, burgers cooked on a grill, and flowers along the roadside. I even became reacquainted with the unique smells of the ocean on our Mom-to-Mom tour up the Eastern Seaboard this summer.
- You see the clouds form and dissipate throughout the day and the moon from the previous night fade in the morning sky.
- You see the foggy mist evaporating in front of your eyes in the morning and incredible sunsets as you ride out the day.
- You feel free and strong, one with the land, the sea, and the sky.
The list is endless, but I will stop there to encourage you to get outside as much as possible. Park farther from your destination. Go for a walk at lunch instead of sitting inside in stale surroundings. Shake up your routine of gym workouts with a walk or run outside. Your spirit will soar, and that smile you keep inside will burst across your face as the sunshine warms it. Your countenance just might make someone else’s day a little brighter!