Why one should Go Outdoors

Every day the day starts with the same rattle and hum of AC’S, Fan's and the clatter of the kitchen sink. In Delhi, as I walk outside, the whole city seems to follow the same flux, people waiting to reach their destinations, cars racing with themselves. Even while waiting we have our smart phones on our palms which join us to a conundrum of mass-media and a world of restricted opinions and world-views.

There are things we can have but can’t share experiences in life with others and with the multiple personalitie, we keep locked inside our skin. We hate Mondays, and Weekends turn into the restricted time we love to do the things we love.

During my last climbing expedition after fourteen days of constant physical labour, we had to retreat 300mtrs close from the summit due to the weather. I was angry, tired and afraid the whole time when we finally reached our Base Camp a smile spread across my face, a radiant smile which was contagious and left everyone in the team smiling.

After having some food and resting a bit I realized it was my surroundings which motivated me to smile and relax. My childhood was spent in the mountains surrounded by the Deodar and the Pine trees, nature was all around but I never saw it as a source of motivation, it was just there by chance like myself. Things changed when I moved to Delhi, tall trees were replaced by tall buildings, mists were replaced by smog, fresh cool air with pollution. Living inside one’s house was close to living in a prison cell. Then I started climbing and started to develop an active outdoors lifestyle.

Often when one talks to Climbers, Mountaineers, Trekkers, trail Runners a common trait in all of them is the respect they have for nature. More than the environmentalists it is these people who protect our environment. In extreme sports one often finds that preparations are usually done indoors and the main theatres of performances are in the outdoors, therefore they are always given more respect than the latter.

For others who are still not convinced about spending time outdoors, here’s a short list of the benefits of going outdoors:

“Improved Short-Term Memory”

Recently in a study done by the University of Michigan, students were divided into two groups after taking a brief memory test. It was noticed that people who spend most of their time outdoors have a better capacity to retain information about their physical environment.

“Restored Mental Energy”

Living in the city we all are familiar with, the claustrophobic feeling which prompts us to spend more, go to the so called social spaces in crowded buildings. Researchers call this sensation “Mental Fatigue”.

One thing that can help get one’s mind back into its daily schedule is by exposure to restorative environments which translates into having an active outdoor lifestyle. Studies have found that natural beauty can elicit the feeling of awe, which is one of the surest ways to experience a mental boost.

“Indoor Pollution is more harmful than outdoor.”

While in our common understanding we believe that having an air-purifier in our houses reduces our exposure to the city pollution, it’s just the opposite. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), studies have found that the concentration of air-pollutants is to six times and even hundred times higher than the outdoor pollution.

The California Air Resources Board also estimated that indoor air pollutant levels are 25-62 percent higher than outdoor levels.

“Going Outdoors Helps One Sleep.”

Good Sleep is directly dependent on a lot of hormones like melatonin and natural circadian rhythm. Both are affected by exposure to sunlight, if one spends too much time indoors one’s skin is isolated from the source of our body’s natural rhythms and one’s sleep cycle is likely to suffer.

A study conducted by St. Louis University School of Medicine, for example, noted that natural sunlight helps set our body’s internal clocks and that people need to get about 30-60 minutes of exposure to direct sunlight for sleep patterns to improve. People suffering from insomnia are advised to expose themselves to natural light, after which they had less difficulty falling asleep.

“You’ll have more Energy.”

A recent study found that those who walked outside reported higher levels of vitality.

“Author Richard Ryan says “Often when we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee or a cigarette, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature”.”

In Crag Climbing we provide you with maps, topos, accurate weather information and a chance to interact with professional athletes who are shaping the outdoors with their vision and talent. So go outdoors and find yourself.

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