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The Top Ten Reasons Why You (Yes, YOU!) Should Go Outside

10. Spending time outdoors increases your vitamin D levels which protects against future bone problems, heart disease, diabetes, and other health issues. It also drastically decreases stress levels and has been shown to be extremely effective in reducing symptoms of ADHD, anxiety, and depression.

9. It is virtually impossible to go star-dipping in the city and 100 per cent impossible to do it inside.  For those of you who haven’t experienced it: star dipping is where you tilt your head back and focus on a single star while spinning in a circle for 2 minutes. Then you immediately look into the flashlight your friend is holding and you fall over while feeling like you’re still standing up.

8. Dalhousie Outdoor Society (DOS) members are fly as hell!  Last year we went on a winter camping trip near Crystal Crescent Beach (see #3 for further details) and three of our esteemed members wore full-on 1980’s snow suits. The whole time. It was amazing.

7. It is a scientific fact that people who spend time in nature get more action. We get all kinds of action!  Nature is the most action-packed thrill ride of your life! From rock-climbing, to surfing, to standing perfectly still in the hopes that the porcupine you just spotted is going to pose for the camera before meandering on its way, there is never a dull moment when you’re outside.

6. Oprah did an entire segment on the benefits of nature and, as we all know, if Oprah says it then it must be true!

5. Studies have shown that people who intersperse work/school work with time spent outside (for example, playing on the DOS Ultimate Frisbee team) increases productivity. So even if you’re spending less hours doing homework you will actually get MORE work done.

4. Nature is the best high there is! Only those who have spent a solid few days outside can understand that indescribable feeling of being totally, completely, blissfully alright with everything that has ever happened and will ever happen. That B+ you got on the midterm that you wanted to get an A on suddenly seems way less important.

3. DOS members will have your back in any and every situation. On the same 1980’s-snowsuit-fuelled camping trip I managed to take a bit of a spill on our trek home, break my leg, and fracture and dislocate my ankle. The rest of the team were such unbelievable champs about it! They shuttled our packs the rest of the way and stuck with me until help arrived. Two of them even accompanied me to the hospital that night and again the next day for surgery. Seriously, these are the best friends you will ever have! (Also, don’t let the broken-leg dissuade you from adventuring. I am incredibly accident-prone!)

2. Can we all just admit that going to the gym sucks? I know we all pretend to like it and we KNOW exercise is an important component of mental and physical health, but it just isn’t fun! Adventuring outdoors is a fantastic way to get exercise (which give you endorphins and lots of other good things) without actually feeling like you’re getting exercise.

1. Nova Scotia is beautiful! Whether you’re paddling Kejimikujik Park, snowshoeing Cape George, hiking to Susie’s Lake, playing Ultimate at Point Pleasant Park, or simply tobogganing Citadel Hill, you will be hard pressed to find a more beautiful part of the world (and I’m from BC … you KNOW how we feel about the west coast!)

Kathleen Potter won the Dalhousie Outdoor Society Adventurer of the Year Award for 2013-2014 for her submitted account on the Crystal Crescent Reading Week trip. She completed her Master’s of Social Work at Dal last year and is now working in BC as a registered social worker.

For more information on the levy question the Dalhousie Outdoor Society is asking for in the upcoming DSU elections, check out the Gazette’s feature on the society.


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