getting my outdoor fix, means getting my sanity; and apparently i am not the only one. some experts now refer to time in green space as “Vitamin G,” and their studies have shown extensive benefits in getting outside. it is no secret that i love to be outside, as is demonstrated here, here, here and here.
and in desperation to fill up on Vitamin G last week, i set out for the foothills, for a family outing and a half day hike.
some professionals think of Vitamin G as Riboflavin, but what i am referring to in this article is the Green Space Vitamin. more and more studies regarding the benefits of green space are arising every day; and there is no questioning the fact that time spent outside decreases stress levels, encourages physical activity, and increases cognitive functioning.
i am no scientist, but i did find countless articles supporting my philosophy of positivity that comes from loading up on green:
and if these articles aren’t convincing enough, it is nearly impossible to argue with the expression on my pup’s face the whole time we were out hiking:
fresh air can and will help any brain; and it appears that the degree to which Vitamin G helps is even greater when it comes to individuals with mental illness. University of Washington studies demonstrate improvements amongst children with ADD and ADHD, as well as amongst the elderly who suffer from Alzheimers and Dimentia, when exposed to green space. (Green Cities: Good Health).
these wildflowers certainly added a solid dose of positivity to my day… so much so that i opted to take a bouquet home with us as a reminder of our beautiful hike.
in addition to the mental benefits of my nature made bouquet and Vitamin G at large, there are also incredible physical benefits. the more we are surrounded by green space, the more likely we are to be active. few people go to a park, or the mountains, or the Ridge to Rivers trails, to sit down and do nothing. green space encourages activity of every sort: walking, running, gardening, hiking, biking, and more.
in this instance, joe and i left the running to the pups. we did however obtain many benefits of the hiking activity we got out of the day. a few of those benefits, according to the 2008 physical activity guidelines for Americans include:
- An Increased chance of living longer and living healthier
- Protection from developing heart disease and stroke or its precursors, high blood pressure and undesirable blood lipid patterns
- Protection from developing certain cancers, including colon and breast cancer, and possibly lung and endometrial (uterine lining) cancer
- Prevention from type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
- Prevention from the insidious loss of bone known as osteoporosis
- Reduced risk of falling and improved cognitive function
- An improved mood, and symptom relief for those struggling with depression/anxiety
- Weight gain prevention
- Weight loss promotion (when combined with a lower-calorie diet)
- Improved heart-lung and muscle fitness
- Improved sleep
as mentioned before, getting my outdoor fix, means getting my sanity. and now that temperatures are rising across the U.S., and the northern hemisphere, let’s all get outside, and load up on Vitamin G.