We’re known as the ‘indoor generation’. Most of us work inside, socialise inside and generally spend most of our days cooped up indoors, and as you can probably guess, this isn’t great for our health. Not only does spending more time inside correlate with less physical activity, but we’re also constantly breathing indoor air which comes with its own set of issues. Toxins from cooking, woodburning stoves, cleaning chemicals and more can all fill the air, and if you’re spending most of your time in the house then you’re never going to get away from that. Even if you’re very careful and only use organic and homemade cleaning products, common materials around the home can break down, and other sources of indoor pollution can all impact your health. When the weather is cold and wet it’s tempting to want to hibernate, but fresh air is so good for our wellbeing and the extra activity will benefit us physically. Here are some great reasons to get outside more this winter!
Raise some animals
If you have a large garden or land surrounding your property, have you considered raising animals? You could keep chickens and enjoy their fresh eggs. You could adopt rabbits, alpacas or even abandoned horses. Companies like Vale Stables field shelters can ensure your enclosures stay up to scratch all year round. Getting out there and taking care of your animals is a wonderful motivator to get your wellies on, and get up and outside! If it’s something you’ve always wanted to do then why not take the plunge now, animals can add so much to your life and as an added bonus you’ll be up and out of the house more too. Another option would be to adopt a dog, there are thousands in shelters in need of homes and so bringing one into your life could be hugely beneficial for you both. You won’t mind getting up and out in the rain if it means taking your doggy friend for his much loved walks!
It might seem like this time of year isn’t the best to get gardening, but actually there’s plenty you can do to get established for the spring. Buy some bulbs and seeds, put these into the ground now and they’ll be ready to pop up when the weather warms up next year. You could buy a greenhouse and plant all kinds of crops in here. Thanks to the fact that you can control the temperature, you can keep the growing season going all year around.
When it comes to exercising, going to the gym is the preferred choice for most at this time of year, it’s indoor and out of the elements. But actually, braving the cold can really add to your workouts. It’s always going to be better running outdoors and enjoying the scenery and fresh air compared with a stuffy gym- even if you do have to deal with a little drizzle! If you live by scenic surroundings, you could practice yoga in the country or on the beach on a dry morning or afternoon.
Now that the summer is starting to come to and end and we are beginning to see some darker and colder evenings once more, it is time to start really looking at the garden and deciding what you need to do with the space. During the colder months of the year the garden enters a dormant state. Everything goes into a hibernation period and you will start to see your once vibrant space become bare and boring. There are some things you can be doing during this period however to keep the space healthy and make sure it is happy for the winter.
- Hard work and maintenance
When the cold, harsh weather starts to creep in you will see a rapid decline in your plants and they will all begin to retreat back for the winter. This is usually the ideal time for you to get a tree service in to remove and prune trees, and it the ideal time for you to start thinking about cleaning out the beds in your garden ready for the spring. It will take work to make sure your plants stay safe during the winter, but they will be all the healthier for it once you have put the work in.
- Get planning
Winter is the perfect time for you to start planning what you want to do with the garden next year. You can note down what plants used to be where and start to think about different ways you can change the layout and atmosphere in the space. As long as you don’t move plants around during the cold seasons you can start to create patio spaces and new beds ready to plant things in the spring.
- Leave it wild
When it comes to maintains your garden during the winter it can be tempting to start raking leaves every day and making sure that everything is kept neat and tidy for the season, however this isn’t the best thing for you to do at all. During the winter wildlife become much more exposed to the elements, and they will use things like leaves and twigs in order to hibernate for the winter, if you start getting rid of all of your leaves they will have nothing to use for shelter and this can be dangerous for them.
- Improve your soil
Now that your plants are done growing for the year, it is the ideal time for you to use the empty soil beds as a chance to improve your soil quality. You can add things such as mulch, compost from your garden and even coffee grounds into the flower beds which will give your soil some amazing nutrients which will be well appreciated at the start of next year. By doing this little bit of work you will ensure the happiness and healthiness of your plants the next year.
- Bring in some colour
There are actually some plants which thrive in winter conditions and they will start to flower and fruit during the colder months. Trees such as the Prunus Autumnalis are beautiful and they flower with cherry blossom during the winter. You can also plant winter berries, holly and other Christmas inspired things in the garden to bring it a little bit of life for the colder season.