Just What The Doctor Ordered
Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel
One of the best ways to feel good and improve your health is simple and doesn't cost anything. Just go outside!
In The Nature Fix, a new book by Florence Williams, she says that one of the most important things we can do for ourselves is to enjoy the outdoors.
To give ourselves a dose of Nature. Or, as some people are calling it these days, "Vitamin N."
Philosophers and poets Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman all wrote about the therapeutic powers of nature. And, so did environmentalist John Muir, whose celebration of America's wilderness helped gain support for the creation of the National Park Service.
Following in these illustrious footsteps, journalist Williams, a contributing editor to Outside magazine, set off to study how nature affects man's well-being – a journey that took her to islands in Finland, forests in Korea, and eucalyptus groves in California.
Based on her experiences and research, Williams found that the restorative powers of nature can reduce people's feelings of anger and depression and help generate positive emotions. With the growth of cities and people spending more time indoors, she notes that there's an “epidemic dislocation from the outdoors” that's causing anxiety and stress.
The cure, says Williams, is just steps away: “The more nature, the better you feel. Walk into a forest and within five minutes your body and brain start to change. Your heart rate slows, your facial muscles start to relax. The smell of pine trees boosts your immune system.
When you hear birdsong your brain puts out more alpha waves, making you feel more calm and alert."
SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel learned that just getting outside for a few minutes a day can make a difference in well-being. Sitting outside, going for a walk, taking a bicycle ride or catching a wave.
So, what are you waiting for?
It's time to take a walk on the wild side.
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