As the world comes to your doorstep, there are fewer reasons to step outside. Physical and mental health experts say the need to spend some time outdoors has become so urgent, they’re calling this the year of ‘sky time’. That’s when you step out into the open, look up and take in a clear sky and some fresh air (or as much of either as is available).
Doctors are recommending a minimum of 30 minutes of sky time a day, preferably in the morning, before you check your phone.
“This will energise you, and better prepare you to deal with the relentlessness, and ups and downs, of the day,” says Anand Chulani, a performance coach who has worked as a mental conditioning expert with the Indian Premier League teams, Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab.
Sunlight is a great source of energy and a mood-lifter. If mornings are too rushed, Chulani says, take a walk at lunchtime, walk to the train station after work, or just stop at a park on your way home.
Spending time outdoors is rejuvenating because it also drags you out of the rut of scrolling screens and everyday chores. It gives you perspective, Chulani says.
On the most basic level, it eases the sense of being trapped indoors, and in a very tangible benefit, gives you a break from the artificial light and recycled air of offices and most homes.
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