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How to Spend More Time Outdoors at ND

Now that spring has sprung at Notre Dame, the weather is considerably warmer, and many students can be found outside beyond the time it takes to walk in between classrooms. Whether jogging by the lake or sprawled out on a blanket in South Quad, Notre Dame students are taking advantage of their school’s beautiful campus.

This is great news, because spending more time outside can be very beneficial. The outdoor promotes increases exercise and success in exercise. Since the weather is much sunnier, spending time outside in spring and summer increases vitamin D absorption, an important vitamin not easily acquired through diet. Nature can increases brain function, focus and creativity. Being outside also promotes relaxation and general happiness. All of these are clearly beneficial to the average college student!

However, if you’re still stuck in your winter routine and haven’t gotten the chance to enjoy Notre Dame’s gorgeous campus, here are a few ways that you can frequent the outdoors and get some fresh air:

1. Do Daily Activities Out of Doors

If your schedule is really busy, try taking daily activities outside instead of attempting to fit into extra “outdoors time”. At lunch/dinner time, take your meal outside by sitting on a bench or on a lawn. Whether eating with friends or by yourself, eating outside will make any meal more enjoyable. If you have a lot of homework to do, that can also be taken outside. Since natural settings can increase brain function, you might find the clarity you need to tackle difficult equations or finish challenging papers.

2. Work “Out”-Side

Daily exercise can also be done outside. The obvious example is running/jogging around campus, especially by the lake, but the possibilities are not limited to just running. Studies show that exercising in a green-colored environment can make exercise seem less strenuous, and participants who exercised in green environments were more likely to continue their exercising regimen.

3. Socialize Outdoors

Next time you and your friends are looking for something to do after class, try doing something outside. This can be as simple as a casual game of Frisbee on North Quad or a picnic out on the lawn. Barbeques are also great outdoor social events. If you’re just looking for a nice spot to hang out, the outdoors is a great, relaxing location to catch up with friends after a hard day of classes.

4. Attend Outdoor ND Events

Next week, Notre Dame students will be bombarded by fun, outdoor activities, thanks to the celebration of AnTostal. Students who want to spend more time outside can take advantage of these events by attening as many as possible. Notable AnTostal 2015 event that take place outdoors include Fisher Regatta, Muddy Sunday and Lakeside Music Festival.

5. Don’t have anything better to do? Take a Walk

If you need a break from homework or feel restless, taking a walk outdoors is a great way to unwind. The lake is a great location for a casual stroll, but anywhere on campus is a good location through which to walk. If you need to clear your mind, sit by a tree, on a bench, on the grass and admire the nature around you. Sometimes, college life can get really overwhelming, and the outdoors offer escape and solace from a busy, stressful day.

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Sources: 1

Images: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7; Images 2 provided by author

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Katie Surine

Notre Dame

Katie is a senior (where did the time go???!!!) living in Lewis Hall. From Baltimore, MD, Katie is pursuing a double major in Vocal Music and Anthropology. Besides writing for HCND, she sings with Opera Notre Dame, choral groups, and she is a pianist for Lewis Hall weekly Mass and Lucenarium, or "Luce" for short. Other interests include baking, reading, traveling, composing, and all things Italian.
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