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Dr. Tori Hudson, Portland, Oregon, Blog Healthline Blog

Hello all… I often try to write a seasonally pertinent blog… waxing somewhat philosophical at times or calling our attention to Mother Nature or a meaningful seasonal footnote.

This spring….well…’s a mighty different situation for all of us.  In many states, including mine, we call it “lock down”…which means all non-essential businesses are closed and we are to stay home except groceries, pharmacies and medical care.  We, and perhaps you, do not know when this order from our governor will end.  We can go outside into our yards or a walk if it is not in a super public area where we might be in close contact with others.  That is kind of what motivated me to write something today.  This idea of how can we be in nature and connect with nature, despite stay at home orders.  There’s the back yard for some, the front porch or balcony for others, and a sparse neighborhood or trail walk for yet others.  In other words…human health and the human spirit… needs fresh air and a green space to be in or at least look at while being outside your door.

Notable research on forest bathing reveals that a 40 minute walk in the forest was associated with improved mood and feelings of health and robustness.  (We could use that right now!)

Forest bathing also appears to mitigate the cause of many health ailments including high blood pressure, headaches, cardiac problems, asthma, arthritis and more.

And, in a 2007 study, men taking two hour walks in the woods over a two day period exhibited a 50% increase in levels of natural killer cells—important immune cells in fighting infections.

Make a daily schedule each morning; consider these 10 thoughts for a daily schedule at home:

1) Keep regular meal times/waking times/bed times

2) Avoid snacking between meals

3) Keep hydrated – water and green tea are my favorites right now

4) Spend a minimum and preferable two hours a day outside in a safe appropriate place…with at least one tree in close sight.  If you can walk on a forest trail safely and appropriately, that would be optimal.

5) Stretch/yoga type movement/strength train every other day

6) Reading and/or music time

7) Learning time – include family members where you can

8) Play time – include family members where you can

9) Leisure screen time – include family members where you can

10) Spirit time (prayer, meditation, relaxation technique, quiet)

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