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“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw
“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation” Plato
Wise folks see the importance of play and researchers have found positive effects of getting outside. Have you gone outside lately? Read on to find motivation for getting out of the recliner and getting outside!
Researchers and physicians maintain that our physical and mental health will improve by going outside. A recent study in Scotland showed by electrical activity in the brains of the study group, when walking through a park, that group experienced less “brain fatigue” then another group who walked in a busy downtown area. The researchers concluded that people should take a break each day to walk in a green space or if that is not available, to simply look at the trees outside. “It’s likely to have a restorative effect” says lead researcher Jenny Roe.
I know my hubby Brian and I get rejuvenated by going outside to enjoy a sunrise over the lake, walk in the park or work to rid buckthorn from our prairie, it renews our spirits and our hearts to be outside! And might I say, the pictures we get to take are awesome! What about you? Where can you go to get some outside time in a natural setting? How close is the city park? What about a county Botanical Garden? For a small fee you can walk the grounds, sniff the flowers and maybe find a new plant for your yard!
Another benefit of getting outside is Vitamin D which is essential for helping us absorb calcium and it facilitates communication between the brain and the rest of the body. A deficiency of Vitamin D has been linked to the higher occurrence of Multiple Sclerosis in the northern hemisphere – where the sun does not shine quite as much! I live with MS or as I call it, More Special, and found that my Vitamin D level was very low. I take Vitamin D supplements but, when nice weather arrives our primary natural source of Vitamin D is sunshine! Researchers have suggested that 5 – 30 minutes of daily exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can restore Vitamin D levels. One quick walk around the block, a game of hop scotch or throwing a baseball to your kids is all it takes!
Fresh air just makes us happier! A study from Jules Pretty at the University of Essex Britain, found that our first five minutes outdoors delivers the bulk of the boost in our spirits, but a full day outside can deliver a major spike not only emotionally but cognitively as well! How easy is that to raise our levels of happiness AND improve our minds? To take advantage of these benefits and to get outside, at Pursuing Your Life’s Purpose we offer Walking Life Coach sessions. What a special way to receive the many benefits of the outdoors, get some exercise and get coached on finding your purpose in your life!
The sight and experience of green in nature has healing effects for us as well. Recently many hospitals have designed healing gardens on their campuses. If not a garden then pictures of nature on the walls have shown to be effective in the healing process as well. Outside magazine recently had a story collecting current research from all over the world on the benefits of being outside. Some of the information suggested that being in nature can potentially lower blood pressure, lower blood-sugar levels in diabetics, reduce the production of the stress hormone cortisol and when the sunlight hits our eyes, the optic nerve spurs the brain’s pineal gland to boost up our production of serotonin, which boosts our mood and cheers us up. Wow, and it’s all just outside our doors! So put down the remote, close your laptop and GET OUTSIDE and PLAY!
If you are looking to move forward in life, want to clarify your goals, define your purpose then I invite you to Speak To Me and see how we can work together to make this happen! Be blessed and be a blessing!
Thank you to Next Avenue for some of the information found in this post!