The Great Outdoors Makes You Healthier

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You’ve heard everybody say  “get some fresh air”, “get your vitamin D”, etc. It is actually true that the great outdoors can prevent illness and aid in the healing of diseases.

According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the closer you live to nature, the healthier you’re likely to be. The study took an objective look at 345,143 Dutch people’s medical records, assessing health status for 24 conditions, including cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological diseases. The records were then correlated with how much green space was located within 1 kilometer and 3 kilometers of a person’s postal code. And what did researchers find? People who lived within 1 kilometer of a park or a wooded area experienced less anxiety and depression than those who lived farther away from green space. – Source

This concept does not have to be complicated, and you don’t have to be super adventurous to enjoy the benefits of nature. Simply walking outside instead of on a treadmill does numerous things for your body. According to Everyday Health walking just one hour a day reduces women’s risk of breast cancer by 14%, reduces osteoarthritis by reducing swelling and inflammation, and reduces Knee injuries by strengthening cartilage. Walking helps in reducing your risk for diabetes by lowering your blood sugar by 24%,  lowers you blood pressure, and cholesterol! Being outside was actually more effective (in some cases) in combating depression  than the leading anti-depressants. This reduces stress which allows your brain chemistry to stay balanced. Walking outside has also shown to decrease brain degeneration, lowering your risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s.  Check out this awesome article published by Age Matters for more details!Before there was technology and healthcare advances, people used sunlight to cure certain types of diseases. In the 1800’s tuberculosis was cured by a process called Heliotherapy. This used sunlight to fight bad bacteria and increase vitamin D. Heliotherapy was used to cure common infections and skin diseases, but when penicillin was discovered in the late 1920’s, heliotherapy was forgotten.

This information is vital when raising children. With technology being such a profound aspect in all of our lives, children need to learn how to disconnect, and go enjoy the great outdoors! It is very important that kids know how to leverage technology and  stay educated/ up to date with it, however being able to go outside and disconnect from a loud world is important as well.  Students that played outside for 30 minutes before school sessions reportedly tested higher than students who didn’t. This study showed that these same children decreased their risk for ADHD and anxiety disorders as well! Kids that play in the dirt and in trees build natural antibodies which aids in the prevention of certain allergies and builds their immune systems. The younger this takes place the healthier they will be as adults. Help your kiddos stay healthy by giving them play time outside!

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks – John Muir

 

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