While living indoors allows us to create a controlled climate that is comfortable year round, there are many benefits to outdoor living as well. Fresh air and sunshine are actually healthy for us. If we don’t get a certain amount of sun on our skin it can adversely affect our health, as health care officials have begun to realise. Sun interacting with our skin makes Vitamin D, an important vitamin whose lack makes us very unhealthy.
Besides the health aspect of being outside, there is the social aspect. When a space for outdoor entertaining, alfresco meals, or just relaxing outside is created, people gather there and chat as well as enjoying their time outdoors. And somehow, it is different from doing the same thing inside.
Teenagers – known for disappearing into their rooms at age 13 and not reappearing until they leave school – tend to like sitting outside by a fire pit and discussing the world with their peers. It has become a cool thing to do. Children who are couch potatoes exercising only their electronic game finger, actually run around outside with a ball, the dog or a friend, so they get more exercise than they normally would inside. Add a swing, slide or sandpit and they will begin to love the outdoors, too.
When we go outside, especially if there is a place created especially, we can appreciate the sun, the breeze, birdsong and flowers. In a way it’s a bit like being let out of prison. The home can become a prison if we are not careful. Everywhere you look there is cleaning or something else to be done, especially if you work outside the home and don’t get a chance to clean during the week.
The trick for the workaholic to enjoy the great outdoors is to not look at the length of the lawn or the weeds in the garden. You have to make yourself enjoy some leisure time outside without always working. The best way to do that is to employ a professional garden maintenance person to do all the hard work for you. Then there will be no excuse not to just sit there and relax. You may even find talking to the kids and spouse is fun after all.
Of course, it has to be comfortable, so easy chairs, pavers, a shade cloth and maybe even a table are all good to have in your outdoor living area. There may even be a swimming pool nearby for added healthy exercise and fun. A barbeque, outdoor kitchen or pizza stove can all add to the enjoyment.
But what if your climate is a fairly cold one? No worries! Just add a wall on the windy side and a chiminea for warmth. Even rugs will add a cosy feeling of camping out.