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    Six Ways to Spend More Time Outside

    By By Katie Rosenbrock
    March 18, 2014, 6:33:36 AM EDT

    When you think about healthy habits, what sort of practices come to mind? Maybe things like lifting weights, eating vegetables, running, or getting a good night’s sleep. We hear about the benefits of exercise and eating right day after day, but have you ever considered how spending more time outside might actually make you healthier?

    “Time outside in nature, especially when we get quiet and observe something beautiful, fills us with all the most beneficial states of mind possible; awe, humility, joy, gratitude and a sense that life is a miracle and full of beauty,” says Eoin Finn, a renowned yogi with more than 20 years of yoga experience and a “Blissologist” who spends more than 15 hours a day outside.

    In addition to helping you feel happier, Finn says that spending more time outside everyday can lower your stress levels and increase your ability to relax.

    “The bench mark for health is the ability to relax. Relaxation is best done under a tree,” says Finn.

    So, next time you’re feeling overwhelmed at work or stressed about a personal problem try stepping away and stepping outside for a few moments.

    “When we are outside somewhere beautiful in nature, we feel small and in this place of feeling small relative to the grandeur of nature, we feel a part of one large interconnected whole,” says Finn. “There is so much happiness that lies here. We feel a part of something infinitely vast and beautiful and not apart from it.”

    Finn’s favorite places to spend time in the open air include the beaches of Mexico, British Columbia, the hiking trails above Malibu, and Hawaii; all places he had the pleasure of visiting while filming his new Earth Body Yoga DVD, which features a practice that combines the fitness benefits of a traditional vinyasa routine with a profound focus on our interconnection with nature. (Perfect inspiration for those times when unfortunate weather forces you to take your workout inside.)

    Since fitting exercise into your day and making the extra effort to eat healthier foods can sometimes be challenging to balance with a busy schedule, maybe you’re wondering how on earth you’ll find the time to get outside more often too.

    Luckily, Finn has six easy tips that can help you embrace the natural environment around you more frequently and as a result, reap all of the healing and relaxing benefits that come along with spending time in the great outdoors.

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    Attitude Adjustment"Change your concept of what health is," says Finn. "Don’t worry so much about how much you can bench press, or how many minutes you can run 5 miles in. The bench mark for health is the ability to relax. Relaxation is best done under a tree."


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    Hang in a Hammock

    Commit to ten minutes a day of what Finn calls “Hammock Enlightement.” "Even if you can’t set up a hammock, get under a tree, breathe and look up. This is the essence of health," he says.


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    Exercise Outside

    "Do sports outside but make sure when the activity is done, you take time to look at something beautiful outdoors and linger quietly for a few minutes," says Finn.

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