Why You Should Spend Time In Your Phoenix Backyard

By Tim Murphy

It’s often suggested that backyard time is therapy time. Whether it’s spending time in the pool, grilling food with family and friends, or simply kicking back around a fire pit at night with a cocktail, the relaxation that often comes with backyard activity can be quite therapeutic. But did you know that spending time in your Phoenix backyard can also be beneficial for your health?

A 2010 study completed at Harvard University noted that spending time outdoors — enjoying activities popular in Phoenix-area backyards — can be extremely helpful for our overall well-being. Outdoor time can also help to improve relationships, fitness, and mental clarity. Noted below are just a few of the reasons why it’s important to spend time in your Phoenix backyard consistently.

First off, let’s acknowledge the 500-pound gorilla in the room: Yes, it can be very hot in the Phoenix Valley from late April until early October. But when the sun goes down, the outdoor temperature can become comfortable. Plus, multiple backyard transformations are possible to improve comfort even when the temperature eclipses the triple-digit mark. With that in mind, here’s why you should spend time in your backyard.


Backyard Exercising Can Improve Overall Happiness

It’s proven that frequent exercise can be extremely helpful to maintaining good health. But did you know that exercising outdoors has been linked to improving happiness? In 2010, researchers at the University of Essex in England measured the benefits of outdoor exercise and its impact on mental health. The study’s conclusion indicated that spending just five minutes exercising outdoors resulted in improvement in personal mood and even self-esteem.

The primary reason was the presence of fresh air and its improvement of blood circulation. Although the indoors may be cool, the reality is that indoor air quality is not very good for your body. Most indoor air filters are dirty, and when air conditioning runs constantly in the summer, it spreads harmful contaminants around the home. Be proactive and place an older exercise bike on your outdoor patio, or do daily laps in your pool outdoors, to help improve your mental and emotional well-being.


Backyard Time With Friends Is Mentally Stimulating

Any doctor or clinical psychologist will argue passionately that one of the best ways to stay mentally sharp is to engage in conversation with friends. When you invite friends over to your backyard for a few cocktails and good conversation, you not only build relationships and strong bonds, but many studies also suggest that you improve your health. The University of Chicago found that more time spent with friends stimulates your mind and gives you a better night’s sleep as a result.

Beyond that, a Harvard University study determined that people who spend time in relaxing conversation with small, intimate groups of friends are more likely to have improved mental strength, which helps them make better and quicker decisions at work and in their personal lives. Inviting your friends or neighbors over to talk is extremely beneficial. And chatting while sitting around a fire pit or listening to the water features in your backyard truly enhances the experience.

No rule says you have to invite friends or family members over to enjoy backyard time. Some of the best evenings occur in a swing chair on a backyard patio, just enjoying personal time. Though the Phoenix metro area offers several entertaining things to do and places to go, personal relaxation in the backyard – with a significant other in the hot tub, watching the stars under a pergola or just talking – can be very therapeutic.

Tim Murphy is the founder and CEO of Presidential Pools, Spas & Patio, the nation’s largest pool builder, based in Arizona. Since 1991, the company has been transforming backyards, providing custom design and building services for swimming pools, spas and patios in the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas.

Photo credit: Davmi Pics via Foter.com / CC BY

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