Time magazine writer, Jamie Ducharme, in the 2018 Nov ember 19th issue of Time magazine, shares with us the benefits of going outdoors. In fact, Dr. Robert Zarr in 2017 founded Park Rx America “to make it easier for more health profesionals to write park prescriptions for patients of all ages, particularly those with obesity, mental health issues or chronic conditions like hypertension and type 2 Diabetes.”
Dr. Zarr, a pediatrician, in Washington, D.C., writes up to 10 park prescriptions a day. By writing these prescriptions the doctor is giving encouragement to get out in nature and experience a number of positive benefits of going outdoors. The author lists the following benefits of being in the “green.”
Studies have shown that spending time outdoors can decrease levels of the hormone cortisol, lower blood pressure and reduce other markers of stress.
Exercise is an important pillar of health, and going outside encourages you to get moving, whether by hiking, biking, gardening or strolling.
Parks are inherently social places. Seeing and interacting with others guards against loneliness – a major public health threat – and fosters community.
Researchers has shown that spending time in green space can lift mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, including rumination and feelings of worthlessness.
Soaking in the arresting beauty of nature has been found to lower levels of inflammation in the body and spark feelings of generosity, perspective and selflessness.
Pollution is linked to a number of ills, ranging from respiratory problems to cancer and heart disease -so breathing clean air may reduce your risks.”
The National Park Service’s Healthy Parks Healthy People program promoted parks as a ” powerful health prevention strategy” locally and nation ally. Mentioned are the Walk with a Doc , which sponsors free physician led community walks is now in 47 states, and Park Rx which has studied and tracked park prescription programs since 2013, says there are at least 33 states and Washington, D.C.
Our website depressedanon.com at the drop down menu Tools of Recovery, lists Being in Nature as one of the very important tools for a depressed person’s recovery.
Personal comment: Walking, I discovered, played a major role in my recovery from depression.