by Dr. Randy
This is the first article in a series about steps you can take to reach a higher level of health for your family.
Get into nature
There are many positive steps toward a lifestyle that will build the strength and health of your system. One of the most important of these for children and adults is exposure to nature. People in our culture are generally deprived of natural environments and disconnected from nature. Children spend their days in school and play on concrete, asphalt, or artificial (plastic) turf. Adults spend their days in offices and cars or trains. Exposure to the natural world of plants, animals, forests, streams, and lakes is often a luxury reserved for vacations. I suggest you make an effort every day to get outdoors into nature. Go for hikes in the woods or through parks around your neighborhood. Take walks at lunch. Sit on the grass. Go for bike rides with your children. Send your kids outside. Take off your shoes and feel the ground with your bare feet. Everyone at every age needs to spend time in nature. Take your infant outdoors and encourage your parents and grandparents to get out for walks.
So much research has shown the beneficial effect of natural environments on health. Even viewing pictures of nature taped to the wall of a cubicle has a positive effect on physiology, including blood pressure, heart rate, and stress reactions. Exposure to natural settings improves emotional well-being, reducing feelings of anxiety, anger, and sadness. Plants in a room or a view of nature through a window promote healing and recovery from illness. Time spent in nature or viewing natural scenes promotes a more positive mood and improves focus and attention. Children with ADHD show improvement in their attention after exposure to nature.
Take advantage of the many positive effects of connecting with the natural world. Make it a part of your daily routine. Encourage children to play outdoors. Reduce screen time. Turn off this screen and go out in nature.