Normally at this time of year, the only fire most people think about is the one roaring in the log burner as they are nestled around it, sheltering from the cold outside. Although it may feel counter-intuitive to think about sitting around a fire outdoors, now is the perfect time to invest in a good fire pit.
In this blog, we look at the immediate benefits to your mental wellbeing and physical health that sitting around a fire pit in winter can bring, especially in these challenging pandemic times. I explain how a fire pit can help you create an outdoor lounge and why that’s important at the moment. Then we look at how buying a fire pit now will help you prepare for spring, summer and beyond.
It gets you outside in natural light
Sitting around a fire pit gets you outside in natural sunlight. If, like one in 15 people in the UK, you suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), being in natural light is vital to your health and wellbeing.
SAD is a type of depression that is experienced seasonally. According to the NHS website “the cause of SAD is not fully understood, but it's often linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter autumn and winter days”. The main theory is that a lack of sunlight might stop a part of the brain called the hypothalamus working properly, which may affect the production of melatonin and serotonin and affect the body’s internal clock. This can lead to low mood, fatigue, lack of concentration and weight gain. Treatment recommended by the NHS? “getting as much natural sunlight as possible”.
We can’t lengthen the days of winter, but we can make those days more palatable to be outside in. Sitting around a blazing fire pit in the morning or lunchtime will give you a great opportunity to be warm outdoors whilst gaining the most benefit from the winter sun. So make yourself a hot drink, wrap up warm, light up your fire pit and get as much of that natural sunlight as possible.
Sitting outside around a fire is good for your health
In my blog ‘Why sitting around a fire pit is good for your physical and mental health’ we look at the research on how being in fresh air and direct sunlight is good for physical health. Research shows how sunlight helps build strong bones and plays a beneficial role in the immune system, even lowering the risk of cancer and cardiovascular conditions. How fresh air equates to increased oxygen which helps to clear out the lungs, lowers blood pressure, aids digestion and can help you heal faster. And how simply sitting around a real fire can be relaxing and calming and has been shown to reduce blood pressure.
The risk of contracting coronavirus is lower outdoors
Sitting around a fire pit outside you are less likely to catch the coronavirus than being indoors. Research shows us that the concentration of the virus is diluted in fresh air and therefore the risks from airborne transmission are lower. We know that one of the ways the virus is transmitted is by breathing in viral particles which are made up of aerosols (small particles that stay suspended in the air) and droplets (larger particles that fall to the ground) from an infected person. Outside viral particles get quickly diluted by fresh air, and droplets fall to the ground rapidly where they can no longer be breathed in.
Consequently, when restrictions allow, sitting outside around a fire pit is a safe and wonderful way to spend quality time with your loved ones and your bubble, this winter. Invest in a Woodee Fire Pit and Cooking Set and you can not only keep warm but you can share a meal and a hot drink too.
Use it to create an outdoor lounge
Tired of the same four walls this lockdown? A Woodee Fire Pit can turn any outside space into an additional lounge area. It doesn’t matter whether you are hemmed in with a big family and need some space to yourself or you are living alone and just need a change of scenery, extending your home to create an outside room can be the perfect escape.
Just like in your home, where each room has its own function and identity, your outdoor lounge can be completely different to the rest of your garden. Like a cosy snug, your outdoor retreat does not have to be big. Whether it is the patio right outside the back door or in a secluded corner of your garden, it is about getting the atmosphere right. A fire pit makes the perfect focal point for this, especially in winter, it will bring a sense of life and vibrancy to the space and will keep you warm, give you light and comfort you.
Consider how you could distinguish this space from the rest of your garden. Hedges, screening, and shrubs make good ‘walls’ but you could also consider planters, raised beds and furniture to separate it from other areas. Next think about seating as this will draw the ‘room’ together. Something all-weather may be more suitable than something you must remember to cover or take indoors. If you are looking for inspiration check out British made all weather garden seating by Armadillo Sun. Finally, with dark nights encroaching on pale afternoons, good lighting is essential and will help you to create a lovely ambience.
Having an outdoor lounge can be a good investment; if you are looking to sell your property it could be good for adding value. With the boom in outdoor living, potential buyers are looking for inspiring outdoor spaces where they can imagine themselves relaxing and entertaining.
Prepare your garden for spring, summer and beyond
Winter is a brilliant time for planning. A great way to lift a miserable mood to is look ahead and plan for warmer and happy times. Imagining yourself outside enjoying your garden can be a very pleasurable experience – you just have to look outside your window and dream!
Taking stock of the layout of your space, considering what worked well last year and how it could be improved will fast track your preparations. Now is the perfect time to do some online research into designs, trends and ideas. For some great inspiration head over to Pinterest - there are thousands of ‘boards’ giving ideas for every type of garden and setting. Next research specific products that you like. Buying early will get you ahead of the curve and ensure you get exactly the piece that you want. How many times have you seen ‘the exact thing’ you really want at the height of the season, only to discover it has sold out or you can’t get the size/colour you want? My advice? Buy it now.
Having planned, purchased, and executed your design means that as soon as the weather warms up, spring comes into bloom and summer bursts onto the scene, you are ready for it and can enjoy every single day.
You can dine alfresco
With a great fire pit, you will be able to cook outdoors and dine alfresco. While you are soaking up all the health benefits of being outdoors in winter, why not double up and spend the time cooking up a winter treat at the same time? With a Woodee Fire Pit, there is a thick stainless steel Grill and sturdy cooking tray, and coupled with a Dutch oven, the cooking opportunities are endless. Take a look at our recipe blog for ideas. For a great dish to share with your bubble at the moment, try our ‘Hot Chilli Boats’; warming, filling and easy to cook they can be eaten outdoors without plates or cutlery. Looking for something more substantial? Try our ‘fool proof’ Dutch oven recipe for ‘Slow Cooked Beef Casserole’. Looking for something quick? a pan of swirling hot chocolate and crumpets toasted over the flame, make for a great snack. And don’t forget, there’s always marshmallows and s’mores to keep your spirits up.