July 17, 2016 | David F. Coppedge

Your Body Needs Its Nature Medicine

Trapping yourself indoors most of the day? Studies show that health improves with outdoor experiences in nature.

Dose of nature is just what the doctor ordered (Medical Xpress). Australian and UK scientists found that people have better blood pressure and mental health when they visit parks 30 minutes or more each week. Given the urban pressures causing heart disease, stress, anxiety and depression, “savings to public health budgets across all health outcomes could be immense.”

Get children playing outdoors to improve academic success and reduce obesity (Science Daily). Kids addicted to screens? Show them some reality outdoors and get their weight off. A study in Scotland showed that kids playing video games all day had multiple health problems. Health scientists recommend Unplug & Play: “Play benefits children in helping them to develop socially and emotionally, so promoting active outdoor play would have many benefits in addition to improving physical activity, improving academic attainment, and reducing obesity.”

Running barefoot helps optimize technique, reduces risk of injury, study shows (Science Daily). Ever think about what the first humans experienced before shoes were invented? Except when walking around cactus or sharp rocks, they probably were more athletic. Barefoot running, while controversial, is still trending upward for scientific reasons.

Barefoot running appears to contribute to the acquisition of a more efficient biomechanical running pattern, allowing contact between the foot and the ground to begin in the metatarsal area (forefoot strikes). The use of standard modern footwear appears to favour the opposite technique; initiating contact with the ground at the heel area with a rearfoot strike, which produces significant impact peaks that negatively affect the runner’s health and athletic performance.

If these stories inspire you to become more active, here are some recent articles about exercise and health from Live Science.

  • Will Staying Hydrated Help with Weight Loss? (Live Science)
  • Meet Your Muscles: 6 Remarkable Human Muscles (Live Science)
  • The 4 Types of Exercise You Need to Be Healthy (Live Science). Includes links to more detailed articles

Modern conveniences are helpful, but not if they rob us of good health. We have innate capabilities that are tuned for interaction with nature. They do best when we connect them to their natural environment.

Both creationists and evolutionists realize that the human body was designed to handle a wide variety of outdoor situations. Be all that you can be; explore your design!

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  • Sagebrush Gardener says:

    I went to the park this afternoon, and everyone was walking around catching Pokémon. I myself walked and biked several miles. How funny that a video game could be one of the best things to happen for the fitness of Americans.

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