As a child growing up in the North Downs in the UK, one of our family rituals was the Sunday morning walk with our father. Mom stayed home cooking the Sunday roast (Dad never learned to cook anything other than baked beans on toast) while Dad, my two brothers and I went into the woods and beyond.
I have always enjoyed time in nature. An early morning stroll before the rest of the world wakes up, a stroll along the beach as the waves crash onto the shore, there is nothing that makes me happier than feeling the warmth of the sun on my face, a gentle breeze and the sounds of birdsong and feel at one with the world.
But as we have moved to live in more urbanized centers, where work takes precedence over almost everything else, the time we spend outdoors has diminished. the NHAPS A survey reports that the average American spends 90% of their waking time each day, indoors.
Why this is a problem because:
- Evidence has shown that we all need a minimum of 120 minutes (2 hours) outdoors each week to maintain our mental well-being.
- Staying indoors all the time means for some that there are fewer opportunities to exercise. While it is not necessary to exercise outdoors, people living near blue or green spaces were not surprisingly found to be more active and more likely to spend up to 30 more minutes in outside.
- Air conditioning or poor ventilation means the air quality reported by the US EPA the interior of our homes and offices may not be great. Indoor pollutants from the use of synthetic building materials, furniture, personal care products and household cleaners have increased. This can have an adverse effect on health, especially for people with respiratory disorders or allergies and may be associated with "sick building syndrome".
- We are more exposed to those who may be sick and who are at greater risk of catching the local lurgia circulating. Regarding the risk of contracting Covid-19, this article here is a very good overview of the potential risk from contact with an infected person indoors.
The psychological benefits of nature
It reduces stress. The Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku (a gentle walk through a forest engaging all of your senses) has been practiced for decades. The Dutch take a Uitwaaien - a windy walk to clear your head while other Scandinavians enjoy Friluftsliv - to be out and in the air enjoying nature, whatever the weather.
It boosts mood through the increased release of dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin and lowers cortisol, improving learning, creativity and problem solving.
It also helps alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.
The health benefits of nature
The idea of a nature deficit disorder was first invented by Richard Louv in his book “Last Child in the Woods”. Alan logan and others see this deficit as a result of our time-poor, overworked, and priority work lives where self-care is neglected and we choose to spend more time in virtual reality instead.
But if you are looking for a way to stay fitter and healthier, why not start with a regular dose of Nature? No registration or membership fees required.
It has been shown that outside users Lower BMI, are less prone to obesity and have more energy. Not only do children who spend more time outdoors (and less time in front of screens) have less hyperopia (long-sightedness) or myopia (short-sighted).
Additionally, people who spend more time in nature are less at risk of a number of illnesses, including depression, diabetes, ADHD, cardiovascular disease, and cancer that are thought to be mediated by. strengthening the strength of the immune system.
Illinois researcher Kuo explains how exposure to nature switches the body to 'rest and digestion' rather than the more familiar 'fight or flight' mode.
During the global pandemic, there was a lot of talk about choosing to leave the cities and find accommodation in the countryside, where life is a bit slower, where there are more opportunities to spend more time outdoors , in nature and enjoy a quieter life.
As we move into the time when we will continue to live with Covid-19, it would seem logical to embrace a lifestyle that supports a stronger immune system, keeps us happier, and allows us to truly thrive.
Do you agree?
Have you changed your outdoor habits since the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic?
Is nature your “must-have” to feel better?
I would love to hear your thoughts.
Dr. Jenny Brockis is a Physician and Certified Lifestyle Physician, Keynote Speaker and Best-selling Author. His new book Thriving Mind: How to Cultivate a Good Life (Wiley) is now available for purchase.
If you would like to know more about psychological safety, resilience and mental well-being, please contact me to configure a time for a chat.
BrainHQ is your online headquarters for working out your brain. Think of it as a personal gym, where you exercise your memory, attention, brain speed, people skills, intelligence and navigation instead of your abs, delts, and quads. Just as our bodies require care and exercise over the course of life, so do our brains—especially as we age. BrainHQ provides the exercise your brain needs to be at its sharpest.
The BrainHQ brain-training program represents the culmination of 30 years of research in neurological méthode and related medicine. It was designed by an international team of neuroscientists, led by Michael Merzenich—a professor emeritus in neurophysiology, member of the National Academy of Sciences, co-inventor of the cochlear implant, and Kavli Prize laureate.
Changing your brain takes some work—so while the BrainHQ exercises are sometimes fun, they can also be difficult. But they always give a useful, meaningful workout to your unique brain. Using a special algorithm, each exercise adapts in difficulty as you work so that you always train at the optimum level for you—where you are most likely to improve your résultat optimal.
It takes less than five minutes to do each BrainHQ level, so you can use it in tiny bites or long blocks, depending on your schedule. Plus you can use BrainHQ on almost any computer or mobile device, so you can take it on the go. If you want, you can set up personal training goals and have BrainHQ send you training reminders when you want them.
BrainHQ has 29 online exercises that work out attention, brain speed, memory, people skills, navigation, and intelligence. If you want, you can have BrainHQ tell you exactly which exercises to do, and in which order : the personalized se progager feature, designed by scientists, continually measures your résultat optimal and serves up the exercises that are right for you.. Or if you prefer, you can design your own program, choosing exercises and workouts that meet your personal interests, mood, and schedule.
More than 100 published scientific papers show the benefits of BrainHQ exercises and assessments. Most of these were independently conducted by scientists at respected universities, such as the University of California, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins. Of course, every study is conducted on a different group of people, and individual results vary. Click any benefit below to learn more about the studies behind the benefit.
From staplers to shelves to software, Demco supplies libraries with what they need to run. In 2015, they added BrainHQ to that mix. Through Demco, libraries can purchase BrainHQ to offer to their cardholders. People “check out” BrainHQ for free, like they would a book. Right now, it’s available in many public and military libraries across the U. S. —with more on the way.
Brain fitness has basic principles : variety and curiosity. When anything you do becomes second nature, you need to make a change. If you can do the crossword puzzle in your sleep, it’s time for you to move on to a new challenge in order to get the best workout for your brain. Curiosity about the world around you, how it works and how you can understand it will keep your brain working fast and efficiently. Use the ideas below to help attain your quest for esprit fitness.
Brain fitness programs and games are a wonderful way to tease and challenge your brain. Suduko, crosswords and electronic games can all improve your brain’s speed and memory. These games rely on logic, word skills, math and more. These games are also fun. 1
You’ll get benefit more by doing these games a little bit every day. Spend 15 minutes or so, not hours.
Daily meditation is perhaps the solo greatest thing you can do for your mind/body health. Meditation not only relaxes you, it gives your brain a workout. By creating a different esprit state, you engage your brain in new and interesting ways while increasing your brain fitness.
Your brain needs you to eat healthy fats. Focus on fish oils from wild salmon, nuts such as walnuts, seeds such as flax seed and olive oil. Eat more of these foods and less saturated fats. Eliminate transfats completely from your diet.
Stories are a way that we solidify memories, interpret events and share instants. Practice telling your stories, both new and old, so that they are interesting, compelling and fun. Some basic storytelling techniques will go a long way in keeping people’s interest both in you and in what you have to say.