I just started reading 15 Minutes Outside by Rebecca P. Cohen. I planned on doing a book review but instead, I’m turning it into a challenge…for myself and for whomever else would like to join in!
The challenge is this: During the month of January, our goal is to spend at least 15 minutes outside each day.
I know what you’re thinking. “Couldn’t you have chosen a month that wasn’t in the dead of winter to begin this challenge?”
Well, that’s kind of the point. I’m a fair-weather fan of being outdoors. I like being outside when it’s 72 degrees, sunny, with just the slightest breeze. When it’s 15 degrees or 100 degrees? No thanks. I’ll stick with the climate-controlled indoors, thank you very much.
And let me ask you this: Have you spent an entire day indoors with my two boys? They do ‘indoors’ about as well as I do ‘outdoors’ in the bitter cold and stifling heat. They’re bouncing off the walls, fighting over toys, and make it their utmost priority to drive their poor mother completely insane. Which, by the way, they have been successful at for the past two Januarys.
So…we’re going to attempt to go outside for at least 15 consecutive minutes every day this January (much to my dismay, shuffling in and out of the car doesn’t count). If there is a day or two where the weather is just plain awful or if someone is sick, we’ll sit that day out. Otherwise, we’re going to try our hardest to get outside every day!
Here are just a few benefits of spending fifteen minutes each day outside, according to Rebecca P. Cohen in 15 Minutes Outside (p. xix):
- Offers great health benefits through fun physical exercise and sunshine
- Redirects children’s energies, motivating them to play and explore constructively
- Creates a family stress-relief valve and a way to spend meaningful time together
- Makes life easier for busy parents: play dates outside are hassle-free
- Provides an effortless education in natural science and an appreciation for nature’s life cycles
A few of my own additions to this list of benefits are: The boys LOVE being outside, it wears them out (so they take good naps), time outside allows them to be creative, and it encourages gross motor development!
(If you need some creative ideas for how to spend your time outdoors every month of the year, be sure to check out 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids.
And before you think my intentions are completely pure…I have to tell you the forecast for the first week of January where we live looks glorious. Sunny and in the 50’s every day. Had the forecast been blizzard-like, I might be rethinking this whole challenge!
January 1st…here we come!
Who’s with us???
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**Please use your best judgement and consult your doctor if you live in areas with extreme cold. The contents in this post is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site.