The Power of Nature
Are you getting enough Vitamin N?
We are often warned of the power of Mother Nature in daunting weather alerts, but on the flip side, Mother Nature can be very good to us. “Vitamin N” can be incredibly healing! In our hard-wired world, screen time too often takes the place of healthy activities like exercise, social interaction and quiet contemplation. Mother Nature offers the antidote.
In general, scientists and researchers agree that time spent in nature makes us happier, healthier and less stressed. Yes it feels good to walk on the beach, hike in the mountains or dig in the garden. But the benefits of exposure to nature can go far beyond “feeling good”. Evidence proves that it truly increases creativity and lowers the risk of heart attacks. It even makes us nicer, more empathetic humans, with more meaningful relationships and increased community involvement. Now that’s powerful!
Outdoor exercise can increase energy levels and reduce anger, depression and obesity. Neighbourhoods or communities with natural areas have better community cohesion and identity, and residents show better job and life satisfaction.
Children who enjoy time outdoors, especially unstructured time, show greater curiosity, creativity and problem solving skills. They also have improved physical fitness and coordination and fewer symptoms of attention deficit.
It’s important to “power down”. As little as 20 minutes of immersion in nature can restore our tired brains and promote happiness. Vitamin N can be a simple and inexpensive means to improve your health.
Each May the David Suzuki Foundation issues the 30×30 Nature Challenge. Individuals, schools and workplaces can take part. The challenge is to spend 30 minutes a day in nature for 30 days. The month of May has passed us by, but the warm weather is here and this challenge can happen any time. Are you up for it?