Time outside is time well spent

One of the fantastic things about horses is that they force you spend much of your time outside. More so than other animals. Dogs you can walk outside for an hour, and then lie on the sofa with for the rest of the day. But horses require you to be outside for large portions of the day, they need feeding, their rugs changing, turning out, mucking out, bringing in, love, attention and fuss. They can use up your whole day, fill it with things to do, hanging around in the outside.

The benefit of being in the outdoors is well-documented, it restores mental well-being, reduces stress, reconnects us with nature, restores us, being physically active is good for our health, it improve our functions, improves our sleep, improves our stress levels. It’s basically like gold dust!

Horses, regardless of what we do with them, are good for us. The hours of being with them are soothing and relaxing. Riding them is merely co-incidental, a by-product even. At the moment, more than ever, we need our pockets of time in order to de-stress, to breath in and out, to simply be.

Horses are our outlets, our respite, our link to another quieter, softer, saner world. Just being there with them in their presence is soothing and cleanses our souls. They are the best of doctors, the greatest of therapists. In a time when so much has been taken away from us, we are left with our animals, and the great outdoors.

Whatever you do today, whether you are working on the frontline, homeschooling, attempting to keep your head above the water, make sure you spend time outside. No matter no busy you are, or how bad the weather is, that is the best thing that you can do for yourself, spend time outdoors, in nature, breathing in and out, waiting for this time to pass.

The importance of being outside…

I love being outside. Don’t get me wrong I am very grateful that I have a house and love going inside at the end of the day. But being outside is wonderful. Other European countries have had far more severe lockdowns than we have experienced with many not allowed to go outside at all. Without the ability to go outside, my mental health would have been shattered.

It has been long know about the restorative properties of a walk. Sad, go for a walk. Angry, go for walk. Bored, go for a walk. Confused, go for a walk. Walking improves mental health, reduces blood pressure, improves fitness, reduces stress. Walking is the wonder drug we are always searching for and it is free.

Part of the joy of walking is the exercise part, but part of the joy is being outside. Don’t simply stay cooped up inside four walls. Just popping your head out of the door will help. We shouldn’t simply sit all day slumped in front of a screen. Even brief periods of standing up and stretching make a huge difference.

We are now allowed to go out more than once a day, if we want. Remember everyone is different. Some people are happy with a short walk once a day, other like nothing better than a dog walk, a bike ride and a run all in one day. If you think your neighbor seems to be going a bit overboard, imagine how cooped up they felt before.

We all have different limits, different sticking points, different absolutes. We all respond to the same situation in different ways, our tolerances vary. However, we can all benefit from the healing powers of a walk. So make sure that you take one. No matter how terrible you feel at the beginning of the walk. You will almost certainly feel better by the end.