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How Fresh Air Can Help You Breathe Easy

The Cabinet — 05.18.20
by Eleanor Peery

There’s so much talk these days about the role of self-care in the new world we live in. The uncertainty in our collective future is at the forefront of our thoughts, but what’s keeping people around the world grounded is finding joy in the small moments of our daily routines — a morning meditation, an afternoon stretch, an evening jog.

As the seasons have begun to change, we are finding ourselves more and more drawn to spending time outside as a way to keep breathing easy. It’s no surprise that this is the case given that there have been many scientific studies substantiating the physical and mental benefits of spending time with nature and staying active. 

Did you know that just five minutes of green exercise has been shown to result in improvements in self-esteem and mood? With an increased intake of fresh air, you’re increasing the amount of oxygen and therefore serotonin (the happy chemical) in your body. Furthermore, preliminary evidence suggests that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people. Why is that? Because when you engage in physical activity, you’re mimicking the responses that can come with anxiety — shortness of breath, sweating, and a racing heart for example — allowing you to learn how to manage these responses and not be overwhelmed by them in other situations. 

We’ve put together a list of a few small, safe, and socially distanced ways to get some fresh air, no matter where you are. Remember to always remain at least 6 feet away from others and wear appropriate face coverings. 

1. Have your morning coffee outside 

Use those few moments of fresh air to set the tone for your day. If you’re in a city, try walking around the block with your coffee in hand. If you have a backyard available, try enjoying your cup there. 

2. Take a long solo walk 

Pick a playlist or a podcast you’ve been meaning to listen to, set a timer for yourself, and head out on a local adventure.

3. Do an afternoon stretch with your window wide open

Opening a window is the easiest way to get fresh air without much effort. As you get up to crack one open, take a few minutes to stretch your back, arms, and legs — this is especially important if you’ve been sitting in a makeshift desk chair all day — and listen to the breeze.

 4. Go on a #HilmaHike 

If you’re lucky enough to live near a hiking trail, this is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with nature in a way that might have previously been overlooked. Use the National Parks Service as a guide for where and how to safely hike near you. 

Wish you could try these out, but sinuses holding you back? Try Indoor/Outdoor Support for sinus support from common irritants like pollen, made from four natural ingredients.

Spent some time outside, but still feeling tense? Check out Tension Relief for occasional head tension — made with ingredients like Magnesium, Willow Bark, and Boswellia. 

We’d love to hear how you’re enjoying small moments outdoors these days, tag us @hilma_co!  

 

Footnotes: 

  1. Harvard Medical School
  2. U.S. National Library of Medicine 
  3. American Psychological Association 

This information is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult a physician before treating any disorder.

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