Outdoor living has become very popular in Australia due to our wide temperate climate that means even in the winter time we can enjoy a warm day. Many people have set up their homes to facilitate alfresco dining and entertaining or even just relaxing outside under patio extensions or a shade sail. What they may not realise is that there are many health benefits to being outside.
The sun is healthy
The sun is actually something that provides health benefits, even though today many people try and avoid it. The sun on your skin makes Vitamin D, an essential vitamin for health that can actually protect you from several serious diseases. Of course, it is not good to get sunburned, but sitting outside in the early or late sunshine for half an hour will not burn your skin, but will provide vitamin D.
Exercise is healthy
When we go outside we tend to move around more and this added exercise is also health-giving. It is too easy to sit around inside when you get home from work – having sat around all day there as well. Such a sedentary lifestyle is just not good for anyone, child or adult. When we create an outdoor living area that encourages the whole family to be outside more we are actually making everyone healthier.
Children can run off their excess energy and play games outside that they can’t play inside. Give them a ball or a scooter to ride on the driveway and they will be happy for a long time. Children especially, don’t get enough exercise or time outside these days. It has even been found that ADHD children benefit greatly from being outdoors more.
Fresh air is healthy
Many homes remain shut up for most of the day, especially in the winter. This means that oxygen levels go down and chemical levels go up. Even if you take care not to use chemicals to excess, there are fumes that come from plastics and even the carpet. Even plastic garbage bags give off fumes. If you try to grow a plant in a new green plastic bag you will fail because the fumes will kill it. What does that say for the air quality in your home?
With an outdoor living area, foot traffic through the doors will be increased and this lets a little more fresh air into the home. You could also leave some windows open while you are enjoying the fresh air outside. This will freshen up the air in the home.
An outdoor living area gives us a safe place to spend fun time in without going out. The backyard picnic and campfire has evolved into something a little more sophisticated with the addition of a fire pit and comfortable outdoor seating rather than a rug on the ground.