Who doesn’t love Spring? It’s the most beautiful time of year with all the plants and trees bursting with life and promise. It’s time to start spending more time outdoors, enjoying the milder weather and longer days.
Richard Louw in his book Last Child in the Woods talks about “Nature Deficit Disorder” and says ‘Our children are the first generation to be raised without meaningful contact with the natural world.’1 Although this book was written over 10 years ago, it is increasingly relevant. Nature Deficit Disorder, he claims, is to blame for the rise in obesity, depression, ADHD in our children.
But the outdoors in important for adults too. Over 490 published papers link nature to better health and improvements in health and wellbeing. Being in nature:
- lowers blood pressure
- reduces stress hormones
- reduces inflammation and the need for painkilling medication
- promotes physical healing
- supports immune function
- improves mood and self-esteem
- and “feeds the soul”
No wonder so many of us love spending time in our gardens. According to Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), UK households collectively spent around £7.5billion on garden goods and £2.4billion on the services of gardeners and landscapers in 2017, and that over two thirds of British adults visit a garden centre each year.2
HTA’s website also claims that “You can burn off 87 Mars bars a year by doing some light gardening for one hour per week (e.g. raking, weeding)!3
While we don’t recommend that you eat 87 Mars bars just to burn them off in the garden, do get out there as often as you can. If you live in a city apartment, try to visit city parks as often as possible. Can you walk to work via a park or green space. Are there any community gardens in your area that you can enjoy or enjoy volunteer for? Can you help elderly relatives in their gardens when you go to visit? Homes all over the UK will soon be opening up their gardens as part of the National Gardens Scheme for charity, so consult their website or download their app to discover a garden near you. https://www.ngs.org.uk/
Meanwhile, improve your fitness by taking your exercise outdoors. Can you join a Park Run or Walk, or join a Nordic Walking Group?
Residential clients at our health and wellness retreat love our daily Nordic Walking Class, and regardless of the weather, enjoy the fresh air, the rolling Northamptonshire countryside and reconnecting with nature.
At the very least, bring some nature indoors with houseplants. Not only do they look wonderful, but they help purify air, absorb EMF’s (Elector Magnetic Frequencies), and improve concentration and focus, and promote healing.4
Embrace the healing power of nature this week, and make it a part of your daily life.
- The Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louw, Workman Publishing Inc, New York 2008