I love being outside and luckily my little guy loves it too.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who noticed that even as a baby, something about being in the fresh air calmed him right down and made him happy.  Fresh air definitely does quite a bit to make us happy too!  In one of my favorite books by Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project, she talks about the evidence behind why going outside can be the perfect happiness boost.  She says:

“Go outside into the sunlight; light deprivation is one reason that people feel tired. Research suggests that light stimulates brain chemicals that improve mood and increase motivation.  At least for me, unscientifically speaking, spending time outside gives a feeling of freedom, of connecting with the seasons (even when the weather isn’t ideal), of breathing fresh air, of not being so trapped by a schedule that I can’t be out in the world.  Plus, if you use your time outside to go for a walk, you’ll get a double benefit for mood and energy.”

It’s funny that for kids, the kind of weather really doesn’t matter.  My little guy loves to run and jump in puddles in the rain, paint on the sidewalk even in the extreme heat of Arizona summer, and he recently had his first real encounter with snow.  He licked the snow, jumped in it, put it down his shirt, slid down it, and experienced it in every way he could.  It was hilarious seeing him live every part of it!

Today my husband had off work and we decided to go for a hike.  We knew it might go into the evening so we decided to bring an outdoor flashlight. B did amazing and refused to let dad hold him at all.  He loved climbing over the rocks and laughed every time he slipped on his bum when we were coming down from the top.  We did a pretty good vertical climb (Which at 33 weeks pregnant, I am even a little proud of myself !).  Here’s a pic from the top:

We all came home so happy and had a great time!  My hubby and I were laughing the whole way watching our little Mr. Independent.  Actually, we were so proud that it was probably good we went alone, because anyone else would have thought we were silly talking so much about what a good hiker little B was.  :)  So, no matter what your weather, get some fresh air with your family!

And remember:

If you (or your kids) need a quick boost of happiness?  GO OUTSIDE!