Wellness Bytes – Are You Getting Your Vitamin N?

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Wellness Bytes #13

It has been a long winter, but that is not  a good reason to sit at home.  Get those hiking shoes out of the closet and thumb your nose at that dirty snow.  If you are not getting your vitamin N, you could be feeling more stressed and unhealthy than necessary.

What do I mean by vitamin N?  N is for connecting with nature, being in the natural environment.  This is something our bodies crave.  The more we sit indoors, the less healthy we feel.   It is easy to get busy, make excuses and think that we cannot tolerate the weather.  Sometimes it helps to grab a buddy who needs to get out also.  This is what I did today.  It was cloudy, almost gloomy and 30 degrees, but we bundled up and walked for an hour in a quiet area of our town, surrounded by snow and bare trees.  The trees make me think of a deep restorative sleep as they recharge for the spring season to come.

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And even though it has been a difficult winter,

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there is beauty in small things.

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And there is majesty in the larger picture.

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There are lots of reasons to get out and reconnect with nature.  We often de-stress by watching TV, eating, or drinking alcohol. These activities may offer relief for a little while, but they do not really charge our batteries, inspire creativity, or improve our general health.  Instead, here are 5 reasons to connect with nature:

  1. Just 15 minutes spent in the forest, observing the scenery, will lower stress hormones, blood pressure and pulse.
  2. Exposure to blue and green colors such as a lake or stream in a wooded or natural area, will boost positive emotions.
  3. Walking your dog or someone else’s will not only connect you with nature, but also foster relationships with others.
  4. 1 hour spent outside in a green area will improve your memory and attention span for the immediate period afterward.
  5. 4 days of backpacking enhances creativity and imagination by 50%.

Ready to pull on those boots and shoes?  No need to wait for spring – you have free access to vitamin N all year round.

 

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