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RX: A Dose of Nature October 9, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness, Nature.
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Goofy-Riding-A-BikeMore and more doctors are prescribing exercise in the great outdoors for patients.

It’s about time.

Sunlight, fresh air, and exercise all create endorphins which elevate our mood naturally.  Exercising, especially outside, is a miracle drug for body, mind, and soul.

When we lace up our sneakers and go for a walk, run, jog, or hike, we boost our fitness levels, improve our health, and increase our sense of well-being and happiness.

Woodstock-&-Snoopy3Now, the combination of exercise and the great outdoors is becoming just what the doctor ordered:

* Physicians, from New Hampshire to Texas, are sending their patients out to wade through streams and walk on beaches and trails.

* Last year, the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, launched its Prescription Trails program to target the high rates of diabetes in the community.  The program, partially funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, includes a trail guide that physicians can hand to their patients.

* Eleanor Kennedy, a cardiologist in Little Rock, helped create a downtown “Medical Mile” with the support of local funders and the U.S. National Park Service (NPS):

Exercise-Sunset“Whether you are waddling, walking or running, going out and exercising will help build your confidence, flexibility and adaptability.”

* Rick Potts, NPS’s chief of conservation and outdoor programs, echoes Levitt’s enthusiasm, “Science is validating what moms have known for generations:  Being outside is good for your health.”

Next time your doctor reaches for the prescription pad, ask him or her for a trail map instead.

To Read More:  Benefits of Prescribing Nature

Related:  Exercise, Exercise, Exercise * 13 Tips to Stay Healthy & Happy * Walk Off Some Weight * Get Out!!!