New Year, New You: How You Can Spend More Time Outdoors

Happy young woman with bicycleThe average American spends 93 percent of their time indoors, according to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health. When it’s broken down, the time spent in buildings accounts for 87 percent and the last six percent is spent inside of vehicles. If you’re ready to resolve to spend more time outside, here are five creative, Portland-friendly ways to do so:

Trade Your Car for a Bike

Portland is one of the nation’s most bike-friendly cities. The City of Portland reports that there are more than 319 miles of bikeways around the Rose City and they plan to construct 50 more miles in the near future. Instead of spending your time in a car commuting to work, trade in your four wheels for two and ride your bike to work. Plus, you can enjoy all that Portland has to offer by cruising around on your bike, from the Waterfront to Mt. Tabor.

Walk More

From boosting your mood and maintaining your health to strengthening your bones and preventing diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, there are a wide range of benefits that come from walking. By getting outside and walking each day you can take advantage of these benefits. And you don’t need any gear or expensive equipment to start. Walk in a group or walk alone to clear your head along the esplanade. Just be sure to tell someone where you are going.

Use an Activity Tracker

Staying motivated when the weather turns colder is no easy feat. However, if you’re competing against your friends and family, you might just get that extra motivation you need to get outside and run, bike or walk more. Use an activity tracker like a FitBit Charge to monitor your heart rate, activity throughout the day and your sleep. When you’re ready to view your data, just open up the FitBit app and compare it to your family and friends’ data.

Create Your Own Paradise

If your backyard looks like a chaotic mess, it’s time to give it an upgrade. Pull out overgrown weeds, and replace them with beautiful flower beds. Plant seasonal flowers so your yard will be full of color all year round. For example, holly, bird of paradise and witch hazel bloom in the winter, and hydrangea, peony and lilac bloom in the summer. To give your yard a sense of luxury, add custom-designed stone pavers to create an outdoor patio and walkways that lead to your flower beds. Then, add comfy chairs and a patio table to eat, read and hang out with friends and family.

Plan an Adventure

Portland-area adventure seekers looking to spend more time outdoors should consider planning a trip to one of Oregon’s Seven Wonders. From Mt. Hood to the Oregon Coast to the Painted Hills to Crater Lake, adventure is waiting — you just have to get outside and explore. Travel Oregon has compiled helpful guides on its website to help you get started planning your trip. Whether you try a zipline at Crater Lake or take your mountain bike on unknown trails, resolve to get outside more in 2016.

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