Living with nature
As human beings, we evolved to live with nature. The natural world provided the food we ate, the air we breathed and the water we drank. Modern lives have taken us further away from the natural environment: air is conditioned, water is bottled, food is processed and too many of us spend our lives indoors under artificial light. Some people are lucky to live in Cedar Creek Lake Houses with nature. However, more and more people are trying to turn back the clock and harness the power of nature to live happier and healthier lives.
Exercise can help you achieve a healthy body and mind. However, it’s important not to limit your activity to pounding the treadmill or pushing weights. Exercising indoors has been shown in research to provide mental and physical benefits beyond those offered by gym-based sessions. In a review of a number of scientific studies, it was shown that people felt revitalized and more energetic after exercising outdoors as well as suffering from fewer symptoms of tension, anger and depression.
This doesn’t mean you should abandon your HIIT routines and bench presses, just try and mix it up a little. Add regular outdoor runs, swims or cycles to your exercise regime and you’ll notice an improvement in your emotional and physical health. If too much LISS isn’t your thing, body weight circuits can be done inside or out. Head to the park and try alternating step-ups, push-ups, dips on a bench and squats for an outdoor program that will harness the benefits of nature, you can even try chin ups in the kids’ play area if you’ve got any energy left.
And if you’re injured or fancy a gentler pace, the good news is that outdoor exercise doesn’t have to make you sweat to make a difference. Researches show that simply walking in the natural environment can improve the mood and
memory of people affected by depression.
Fast and processed foods may be quick, easy and irresistible but do they nourish our bodies? Additives, chemicals, trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup may make meals moreish but enjoying them too often could be at the expense of our health and wellbeing.
Choosing real foods that occur in the natural world, the ingredients that our forefathers would have enjoyed, can be a healthy and delicious alternative. Focus on seasonally available produce. Tuck into fresh fruit and vegetables, pulses, meat and fish, wholegrains, nuts and seeds. These foods are rich in vitamins and minerals and less likely to lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. If you’re not sure, then simply pick foods that are not packaged and processed for a natural body boost.
Simply living near to nature can offer amazing health benefits. Don’t panic if you’re a city-dweller, you don’t have to be up a mountain, on a beach or in the forest- being close to open green spaces like parks or gardens can also help ease tension and boost wellbeing.
Research from a team of Dutch scientists suggested that living in greener environments also boosted the immune system and improved cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological health. The effect was particularly noticeable in kids- so, if you’re planning a move, consider those green patches on the map as well as the local schools and playgroups.
We have an in-built body clock that is programmed to react to light and dark. Too much time indoors staring at a glowing screen can affect your sleep and your energy levels. In the winter months, we can feel SAD as well as sad. Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that can strike when you get insufficient exposure to daylight. It’s particularly common in dark winter months, especially in people who spend most of their time indoors.
Light is not just important for our mental health, our bodies make the essential micronutrient, vitamin D when exposed to natural sunlight. The problem is that gloomy weather and lives spent indoors mean that lots of people lack this vital vitamin. Deficiencies can lead to diseases like osteoporosis and rickets as well as decreased energy and low mood.
School and work demands can make it difficult to get light, but try and make the most of the sunlight by heading outside for your lunch-break. In the middle of the day, the sun is at its strongest so your brain and body will benefit.