Monday, January 27, 2014

Outdoor living for your health

Minus 36 Celsius last week! Fresh!
The snowshoeing has been spectacular this year!

It's been extra cold and snowy and it's tempting to stay indoors more. But I wanted to share some research I discovered.

Recent studies show:

  • lower stress learning in nature vs classroom
  • viewing nature scenes reduces muscular tension and blood pressure
  • more parks = lower mortality
  • television and computers reduce cognitive performance
  • screen time reduces life expectancy
  • nature-based recreation is down 50% last 4 decades

Nature gives us:
  • aromatic chemicals - nature-derived chemicals provide emotional connection
  • sunlight - produces mood-regulationg seratonin, reduces depression
  • negative air ions - improved health and longevity
  • natural sounds - reduces stress, improves immune system and cognition

Some of my favourite things are:

  • Snowshoeing
  • Skiing (cross-country and skate skiing)
  • Walking the dog
  • Ice Fishing (only if the sun is out and can find a spot out of the wind)

What kinds of things do you like to do outside?

Your Brain on Nature, Selhub and Logan, 2012 Wiley
Last Child in the Woods, Louv, 2005, Algonquin
Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Good Things jar

Jeff Schultz photo - the last month in my 2013 calendar

In 2013, we kept a jar for all the good stuff that happened to us or that we were grateful for over the course of the year. It kept us remembering how fortunate we were whenever we looked at it.

Good Things Jar

Here are some of the highlights from our jar:

  • I received a significant work in progress grant from the Ontario Arts Council
  • Hubs got a moose with his gang for the freezer and some geese for sausages. Organic eating
  •  Ice Dogs was picked up by Scholastic Book Clubs and was a Junior Library Guild Selection
  • We were fortunate enough to travel through Alaska and saw sea lions, killer whales, humpback whales, grizzlies, big horned sheep, moose, sea otters and seals following us in our kayaks
  • Hubs completed a tri-athalon in August after learning to swim (better) Well done!
  • And we enjoyed another year of good health and happiness living right where we want to be

We loved this idea so much of being grateful, we started another jar. On Friday, my year started off well with this box of awesome...

tell me, what were some of the highlights in your good things jar?