GO OUTSIDE!

Take a few moments everyday to get some fresh air.

October 14, 2020

Clear blue skies, tall palm trees and a cool, fresh breeze are just some of the things one can find when they step outside. Natural surroundings like this can be a great way for students to get a breather from distance learning.

Currently, students spend up to eight hours a day on their computers navigating through various Google Meets for all of their classes. While students are provided a few minutes to transition, they often use this time to prepare for their next class or to grab a snack. 

Once school ends, students complete their homework, talk to their friends and spend time with their families. One activity that more students should be considering, though, is to go outside. Going outside can encompass anything from a walk around the community, visiting the local park or simply just stepping out of the house for a few minutes.

Spending time outdoors can have huge advantages on students. One such advantage is how being outside allows them to rest for a bit. Senior Sreenidhi Nidamanur described how “everyone needs a fresh breath of air once in a while.” Students can get a boost of Vitamin D and lower their blood pressure as well.

Going out can also increase a student’s focus. Senior Aaron Airey expressed how “when [he goes] outside, the blood flows in [his] brain and [he] thinks more clearly and [is] focused.” This is helpful whenever a student is stuck on an assignment or just needs a mental break. Time outside can really help stimulate the brain and help students move forward. 

Another perk of going through nature is how it can help one’s mental health. Business Insider described how in one study, participants that walked through a forest had “decreased levels of anxiety and bad moods.” 

Some of the common difficulties with remote learning is the lack of face-to-face interactions and having to sit in front of a computer screen for extended periods of time. Nidamanur described how her “eyes are more strained because of the continuous screen time.” 

Being outside can help students address some of these challenges. They can spend some much-needed time away from a computer or phone screen to instead stretch their bodies, which can prevent back pain and muscle aches caused by sitting in one area all day, and give their eyes a break.

Another challenge for students are their heavy workloads. Airey stated that, “With [the] workload I receive, there is minimum time I [can] spend outside.” While school is very important, students should make a proactive effort in carving out time to go outside as it can be advantageous for them. Airey expressed a similar sentiment regarding this and hopes to create a schedule to have more balance between his workload and time outside. 

One thing that should be made clear is the fact that students are not being encouraged to go out and party or to do anything that would place them and their families at risk of catching Covid-19. Rather, students are being motivated to try to spend some time outside as it can genuinely help them, especially right now as students are learning from home. It is important to emphasize that students follow the Coronavirus guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and to follow their local laws to curb the spread of the virus. 

Spending time outside is a great activity for students all over the world, particularly now as most students are learning online. A few minutes outside can truly make all the difference and immensely help students. In fact, students are not the only ones to benefit from going outside, people of all ages can benefit. The fresh air, refreshing breeze and beautiful flowers and plants outside can do wonders on anyone.

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