Get Out In Nature In Winter For Better Health - Prevent Nature Deficit Disorder
Posted Jan 16 2010 7:22am
Above you see a photo of a coyote I snapped while hiking in a local forest preserve in suburban Chicago, Illinois. He was shy and I snapped the photo quickly as he was running. His incredible camouflage makes him difficult to see - can you find him in the winter scene?
Americans spend too little time outdoors in nature. During the Winter,
particularly in the northern states, it is especially difficult to get children
active outside because outdoor exposure is critical for their health.
According to Richard Louv, the author of Last Child In The Woods
(Algonquin Books, 2006), by encouraging our children and family to get
outside more, we are helping to prevent "Nature Deficit Disorder." This
condition, according to Louv, encourages diabetes, poor test performance,
overweight children, as well as allowing other disorders such as ADD and ADHD to
January is a great time to encourage outdoor activities. Yes, I know the
thought is that you are going to freeze to death. It is simply not true. By
getting outside for a while you get fresh air and enjoy a time away from indoor
dry air, dust, and other allergens.
Experts agree that spending time out in nature can help elevate mood - that
is particularly important for we who are faced with more and more stressful
lifestyles in our modern times. Relieving stress, enjoying nature, laughing, and
playing are important to a child's immune system and emotional well-being.
Contrary to popular belief, being outside in cold weather does not encourage
colds, flu, or illness. In fact, fresh air is good for people of all ages.
Get outside and hike through your local forest preserve today - enjoy nature and stay healthy in winter!