There are more benefits to spending time outside than just the necessary absorption of vitamin D. The best thing a child (or anyone!) can do to build their immune system is to dig their hands into the earth and get dirty. While children do tend to spend time doing this, as adults we don’t as much. If we’re gardening most have gloves on as a barrier between ourselves and mother nature. A drive through the country admired through the car windows isn’t without a barrier between the natural pollens in the air. Most wouldn’t dare drink water from a stream or eat a worm these days either!
The truth of the matter is that we need our bodies to interact with mother nature to stay optimally healthy. Not only for our physical health, but to maintain our emotional well being as well. The skin is our largest organ, and we do absorb things from our environment through it. Taking a deep inhalation of the air at the top of a mountain, or out at the lake is just a little bit different than that of downtown. And while I’m not recommending you increase your daily intake of annelids, don’t get too worked up if you discover your child has.
While it’s true that our planet is far more polluted today than it was when you were a child, time spent outdoors is still crucial. Increasing the amount of time spent on foot rather than in ones vehicle reinforces each of our relationships with our planet. If we have no connection with this life-giving blue dot in the sky that we call home, we are more likely to disregard it’s well being. Just as you are likely to care more about the well being of those who you have close relationships with versus a stranger. Everything is cyclical: appreciate & spend time in nature, protect its integrity and it will continue to provide clean air, water and food for you to maintain your own health.
What sort of plans do you have to spend time in the great outdoors this summer?
Camping in one of our provinces great protected areas?
Hiking Mount Robson
Canoeing the Bowron Lakes
Cycling through wine country
Yoga in Fort George Park with Chinook Yoga’s fantastic team
Plan some xeriscaping for your backyard (or do some planting in a community garden!)
Mountain climbing in Squamish
Surfing off the coast of Haida Gwaii
A walk through the Ancient Forest to appreciate the diversity in ecosystems only an hour away from home
They don’t call it ‘Beautiful British Columbia’ for no reason! Get out there and enjoy what our province has to offer, and improve your own health while you’re at it!