John LaGuardia

Capturing Life's Adventures

5 Excuses That Keep You From Getting Outdoors

Get OutsideJohn LaGuardiaComment

Today's focus is on those negative stories you are telling yourself. They are keeping you from getting outdoors!

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STORY #1 - I DON'T HAVE TIME

This first roadblock is a biggie!

One of the biggest myths keeping people from getting outside is the statement, "I don't have time." It is the belief that there is not enough time in the day when one works a full time job, has family relationships and other commitments.

However, the truth is that there will be time if we consistently make it a priority in our lives.

So how do we do this? Here are some tips:

  • Start small

    • Head outside for a 15-20 minute walk during your lunch hour.

    • If you live within 10 miles of the office, do some research on routes and ride your bike to work 2 days per week.

    • Before your evening comes to an end, take a quick walk around the block or sit out on your patio.

  • Plan ahead

    • Visualize how you will get outside tomorrow and where you can fit it in with your schedule.

    • Block it out on your calendar so that you are reminded to get outside and so that nobody else stomps on that replenishment time.

STORY #2 - THERE'S NO NATURE CLOSE BY

This story is just flat out baloney.

There is nature all around us. It resides in our backyards, down the block, around the corner and within a short drive. Of course there are other natural wonders, national parks and state parks around that you could make a day or weekend trip out of too.

If you feel that your area is limited, do a quick search over at the Outdoor Project . There you will find a wealth of information on quick micro adventures, camping and longer hikes if you feel so inclined. 

STORY #3 - IF I FELT BETTER TODAY I WOULD GO OUT

This one normally traps me.

As we get older, the aches and pains from exercise become more prevalent.  We get the occasional head cold or flu bug that bogs us down. It's okay to let the body rest and recuperate. However, these things shouldn't set us back weeks at a time.

After a couple of days of recuperation, make a habit to get back out for a walk. Gradually increase your activity until you reach your targets again.

Do you often complain about the aches and pains? Do you put off getting outside because you are not feeling well?

These are warning signs that we should be aware of. Ask a friend to help you recognize when you complain and to keep you accountable on those days you miss your meet up with them at the trail head.

STORY #4 - WEATHER FORECAST DOESN'T LOOK GOOD

Starting small and getting past stories 1, 2 and 3, will encourage us to shun thoughts about how the weather looks outside. 

We can tell ourselves that it is too cold or too hot outside and that we will get to our exercise outdoors once things calm down or are more comfortable. 

I hear a lot from people on this subject and it goes something like this:

It is just too hot this afternoon to go for a bike ride. I will get to it later in the week when the temperature cools off.

It is too cold this morning to go for a long walk with the dog. Maybe we should go this afternoon instead?

How do we overcome this trap? Here are some tips:

  • Deal with the heat
    • Go outside early in the morning or late in the evening when the sun is not at its peak. 

    • Wear light clothes that breathe and wick the sweat from your body. This will keep you cool and dry.

  • Deal with the cold

    • Dress appropriately and layer your clothing for the best results. Layering can actually be fun and look cool too. It will give you that extra motivation you need to get outside when it is cold.

For help with choosing a good layering system, check out my review on one of the Patagonia base layers that I recommend.

STORY #5 - I AM NOT SURE WHERE TO BEGIN

We are almost there, but the last mile of the journey always seems the longest. We can do this!

Don't let "not knowing where to begin" paralyze you and keep you indoors. 

My biggest piece of advice that will help you get outdoors is...wait for it...JUST START. It sounds so simple, doesn't it?

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"Just Start"

A few years ago, I was paralyzed with my photography. I had numerous people telling me that my photographs were good, but I didn't have a clue what to do about it. I thought that it would be so cool to see some of my work real big on other people's walls. I also was intrigued by those in the industry that make a living solely on photography. 

I kept telling myself stories that I wasn't as good as others around me and that I had to do certain things to be successful. Quite frankly, I was completely overwhelmed by other photographers that told me it wasn't worth it this day and age because of mobile devices and the Internet. I was convinced that I couldn't do social media, blogging and everything else that came along with being a photographer, all by myself. That wasn't the case at all, but those negative stories that I was telling myself were holding me back from even trying it. 

Once I started, put myself out there into the world and stopped worrying about what other people would think, I began getting clients. It was an amazing lesson and it gave me the momentum I needed to develop more skills to help others around me.

I say all of this just to get the point across, that if you JUST START, you will get yourself outside more often.

By getting outside more often, I know that you will be invigorated by nature. Some have called this the "nature effect" where you experience a type of renewal each time you set foot outdoors. This will give you renewed energy, encourage a more healthy lifestyle and will put a smile on your face 😀.

Let's overcome those negative stories that we have been telling ourselves and get out there!


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