So, enough with all the small talk!  Are you ready to get down to business?

The Lady, Mama, and Junior enjoying a sunny winter's day outside.

The Lady, Mama, and Junior enjoying a sunny winter’s day outside.

At the heart of 365Outside is the 365Outside Challenge.  When I felt like my family was stuck in a rut, heading into the depths of winter and bored with each other, ourselves, and our day-to-day lives, I devised the 365Outside Challenge to refresh our lives.

The 365Outside Challenge dares participants to enjoy time outside, 365 days a year.

What are the rules?

The easy answer is, there really aren’t any.  The 365Outside Challenge isn’t a competition.  It’s a challenge meant to motivate and support families and individuals who want to make a positive change in their lives.

The nature of the 365Outside Challenge for our family was more a promise than a competition.  We promised ourselves and each other that we would take time each day to play outside, regardless of the weather or the busyness of our lives.  For all 365 days of the year 2015, we would breathe fresh air for the sake of breathing fresh air.  For us, that means that things like walking to and from the car, shoveling the driveway, and checking the mail, do not count.  The point was to make time  dedicated to exploring, adventuring, and playing outdoors.  The point was to be outside, and just be outside.

So . . . for those of you furrowing your brows, for those of you who are rule-followers, I suggest the following guidelines for your challenge:

  • IMG_6477Spend time outside every day; we suggest a minimum of 20 minutes.
  • During your time outside, try to enjoy your environment.  This means dress for the weather, put your phone away, and look around!
  • If you are sick but still feel up to it, go ahead and get outside!  Exposure to nature has been linked with increased healing time after illness and surgery.  Just be extra cautious to dress appropriately for the weather so that your body is not overexerted.

What Should I Do Out . . . There?

That’s totally up to you!  Or, if you have kids and they’re anything like mine, it’s probably up to them.

Here are some of our favorite ideas to get you started:

  • Take a hike, or call it a nature walk if you’re not into hiking
  • Eat a meal outside
  • IMG_9307Learn more about the green spaces local to you and explore a new one
  • Create an outdoor scavenger hunt for your kids
  • Walk around your block and meet some new neighbors
  • Walk someplace that you would normally drive

This list is non-seasonal.  Any of these activities can be done any time of year.  We love snow picnics at our house!  For a list with seasonal ideas and more specific challenges, please consult the 365Outside Adventure Guide (coming soon).