We know, we know. Winter can be absolutely grim here in the UK. There's the rain, the sleet, the hail and the snow. All of which can really make it seem like leaving the house is a bad idea full stop. These weather scenarios do NOT make for a pleasant outdoor experience! The thing is though, that being inside can be almost directly related to feelings of boredom, isolation, low mood and lethargy. Whereas being outside invites endorphins to have a small party in your body, sending feel-good signals to your brain to elevate your mood and make you smile. Not only that, but studies have found that being outside for just 15 minutes a day can have a profound effect on the body, mind and soul. Here are our top three reasons why you really should go outdoors every day.
Being outdoors makes you happy
We don't mean nipping to put the bins out after dinner! Be outdoors. Zip up your coat, pop the SnoozeShade over the pram to protect the little one from light wind and rain (and promote better nap habits too) and embrace it. Research has found that kids need at least 15 minutes per day outside, but we say why limit that to kids? We parents need the vitamin D just as much, and sometimes we have excess energy to burn off too. If you have older kids, try to arrange at least one outing per day- if only to save your sanity! Yes, its so much easier when the weather is nice, but bad weather shouldn't be a deterrent.
Being outside helps you sleep better
Being outdoors helps to prepare the body for sleep later on, by boosting the blood pumping around your body as you move and by boosting serotonin levels too. Later on, your body will want to recover and rest during sleep and you'll find the fresh air helps you ( and baby) to drop off more easily. Not only this, but allowing your baby to sleep outside (on the go- thanks to the SnoozeShade!) can help too. Plenty of studies have been done on this topic, and research has found that sunlight helps to regulate a baby's circadian rhythm a lot quicker if they are allowed to sleep outside (in the pram)- this means that their body clock is set a lot more easily.
And for older children, being outdoors in colder weather means that they will run around a lot more to get warmer, using up excess energy and thus feeling more tired at bedtime. Now if that's not a good reason to get outdoors, what is?
Being outdoors helps you become more mindful
Being busy is a modern day curse, and though we're definitely not taking anything away from the importance of the various stresses and strains we go through, there are many of us that could benefit from slowing the pace right down. If you're able to schedule just fifteen minutes in your busy day to get outdoors and leave everything behind for a short while, the effects can be amazing. No screens, no demands, no anxieties- just for fifteen minutes. Instead, enjoying the peaceful time as your baby sleeps, or the sensory experience of being outdoors. The SnoozeShade Plus Deluxe has a features a look out panel that allows your little one to stay sheltered as they gaze at the world. Point out the trees, the birds, the people. Talk to your little one, and focus on really being in the moment. You could even time your naps around your daily walk and be outdoors for longer. Take your headphones, listen to an audio book and take some me time with benefits!
A note about the weather...
Yes, it's cold. And its due to get a little colder still. But don't let that put you off! Babies can be sheltered from the wind when they are outdoors. You know this already, but the SnoozeShade was invented so that babies could sleep on the go. Sleeping outside in the pram can have many benefits for both baby and parent, but there is no need for them to be completely exposed to dreadful weather. Pop on your SnoozeShade as normal and provide sufficient shelter to support or even lengthen that afternoon nap. Works like a dream! There is a really good saying that maintains there is no such thing as bad weather- just bad clothes. So wrap up warm, don't forget your SnoozeShade, and get outdoors. You'll all sleep better, and you'll all feel better for it too!