Today the National Park Service is celebrating its 100th birthday. What a wonderful milestone in our country’s history. Here in the Pacific Northwest we have some of the most beautiful national parks, forests, and preserves. Even here in Seattle, whenever I get a peek at Mt. Rainier my eyes become glued to the view, I hold my breath in awe, I start feeling energized and happier. And I also notice the people around me appear to have a similar reaction. There’s something about seeing that mountain that just puts me in a better mood. I am not alone in this. A quick search on PubMed results in several research papers that discuss the many health benefits of being outdoors in nature.
Such health benefits may include:
- increase in memory and attention spans
- stress reduction
- sharpening the senses
- elevates moods
- sense of well-being
- decrease risk of developing poor vision
- increase creative problem solving
- improve immune system
Not everyone has a mountain view but whether it is a view of a sunset, a desert, a field of grain, a river, a garden- taking time to get outside and enjoy the view. It’s good for both the mind and the body!
MedlinePlus and other NLM resources have information and tools to help you exercise and be healthy:
- Exercise and Physical Fitness
- Outdoor Fitness Routine
- Be Active Your Way: A Guide for Adults
Start today and make a point of going outside and consider making plans to visit one of the National Parks and start enjoying the health benefits!