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Ecotherapy

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The field of ecotherapy (the use of nature in physical and psychological healing) is gaining legitimacy as a remedy for a range of mental maladies, including posttraumatic stress disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and depression. Mounting evidence suggests that, in some cases, exposure to the outdoors may enhance the efficacy of antidepressants or talk therapy. If we want to improve our health and well-being as a species, there's no substitute for being in nature.

What exactly is it about the outdoors that balms the psyche? Immersion in nature calls on all of our senses, which in turn stimulates creativity and intelligence, enlivening and exciting us.

The sense of connectedness we find in nature is amplified by its power to inspire awe (the feeling of wonder we experience when faced with something that challenges or expands our understanding of the world. That wonderment - what you feel when you're, say, standing at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon - may make your everyday anxieties seem more manageable.

Natural space may be inherently stress-relieving because they provide a lot of rhythmic stimuli, such as water falling or leaves rustling. These sounds tend to provoke deep relaxation, giving us a chance to calm the speed of the mind. That frees up a lot of mental space to deal with our problems.

Immersing yourself in any natural environment can be restorative, even if it's just a patch of green in the city.

Time spent in nature is one of the only real, consistent, inexpensive antidotes to the burnout we're feeling both individually and as a society.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMENTSMATTER 3/25/2011 2:07AM

    You are so correct!! Author Henry David Thoreau comes to mind as I read your blog. I so enjoy a vegetable garden. Nothing like picking your own fruit and vegetables. Looking forward to being outside more!!! emoticon

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SVELTINGTON 3/24/2011 12:47PM

    I always feel energized after being outside regardless of the weather.
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RIKKI572 3/24/2011 8:55AM

    I never knew there was an official name for it, but I have always believed that anything you do outdoors is better for you.
Have a great day!! emoticon

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LLLAWSON 3/24/2011 8:06AM

    Love it!! So totally agree. Being outside and seeing nature around you whatever the season is calming and inspiring. My fav would have to be full moons when I run in the dark. It makes it sooo worth while.

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TEDYBEAR2838 3/24/2011 7:57AM

    Really good blog. I know you are right.

ALso, standing at the ocean's edge does that for me. As I look out over the horizon, I realize how small my problems are, when compared to the world out there.

Thanks

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THE PARK PRESCRIPTION

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More doctors are ordering their patients outside to enjoy themselves. Besides boosting feel-good brain chemicals, outdoor exercise improves high blood pressure and other disease risk factors while triggering an increase in blood levels of protective vitamin D. To further crank up endorphins, pick an activity that helps the planet. Check out cycling routes on traillink.com. The free service from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (a nonprofit that helps convert out-of-use railroad corridors) provides interactive maps, reviews & more. Happy trails indeed.

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I'm so excited - they are convert an out-of-use railroad almost in my backyard!! It's just a block or two from my house and I can't wait!! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RIKKI572 3/23/2011 9:29PM

    What a great prescription - I know the outdoors works for me. Have a great day!!

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TEDYBEAR2838 3/23/2011 4:15PM

    I like a combination of both, since I love the gym, but I like walking also.

I'm so glad you will have one in your back yard

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SVELTINGTON 3/23/2011 10:39AM

    emoticon

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STARRPARENT 3/23/2011 9:48AM

    I love doing things outdoors. I also need the Vitamin D the sun provides.

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BILLTMAN 3/23/2011 7:19AM

    I don't know where you live but we have had some beautiful weather here in central Florida to be outside. I highly recommend it.

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Insecurity

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

We all handicap ourselves with insecurity.

It's up to us to reset the self-worth scale and alter the message we send out into the world.

(Easier said than done, right? But well worth working on!)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KEEKEE1ST 3/22/2011 2:45PM

    I'm working on it!

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TEDYBEAR2838 3/22/2011 1:33PM

    I am so insecure but I am working on it and losing weight really helps my self image.

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4EVERFIT011 3/22/2011 10:26AM

    Nicely stated! A positive attitude can get you a long way but it is not always easy to maintain. We do have to work on feeling better about ourselves under all circumstances. Thanks for sharing.

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BILLTMAN 3/22/2011 9:13AM

    A lot can be accomplished through a Positive Mental Attitude. We all have to work on it.

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SVELTINGTON 3/22/2011 9:03AM

    I agree!

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RIKKI572 3/22/2011 8:41AM

    A positive attitude can make all the difference!! Have a great day!
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LLLAWSON 3/22/2011 8:12AM

    True and true!!

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Those pesky last 10 pounds...

Monday, March 21, 2011

The most-asked fitness question is: How can I lost the last 10 pounds?

Get enough sleep. If you're starved for shut-eye, your body will try to hold on to weight and you'll be prone to cravings. Aim to get at least seven and a half hours of sleep a night.

Check your diet. After initial success, it's easy to let less healthy foods creep in or portions expand. If you plateau, keep a food diary for a week. Sometimes we need a diet checkup.

Stop being bored. Plateaus aren't just physicial; you can mentally plateau from doing the same workout over and over. Try something 180 degrees away from what you're doing now that really challenges you. Works every time!

Ask yourself: Do I really need to lose weight? If you've done all of the above and are still stuck above your "goal," guess what: If your BMI is healthy (check it at glamour.com/magazine), your body may be happy where it is. A lot of women set overly harsh goals that aren't sustainable. Your "ideal" weight isn't where you'd like to be, it's where you CAN be.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SVELTINGTON 3/21/2011 10:39AM

    emoticon

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RIKKI572 3/21/2011 8:15AM

    Great advice. Hope you have a wonderful day!
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KIMBERLEY225 3/21/2011 7:57AM

    Awesome blog Judy. I will have to refer to this again as I get closer to my goal.



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TEDYBEAR2838 3/21/2011 7:34AM

    {{{{Your "ideal" weight isn't where you'd like to be, it's where you CAN be.}}}}

WOW That was WELL said! I think that is great. I'm gonna write that one down.

Thanks

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1EMMA2011 3/21/2011 7:19AM

    Great blog - thank you for the encouragement. I love your background pictures also - so cute! Yes very smart to get out of the boredom and try a new routine. It does work every time. Enjoy your day! emoticon

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Sunday Silly

Sunday, March 20, 2011



Where do cows go when they want a night out?


To the moo-vies!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEDYBEAR2838 3/20/2011 9:41PM

    HA HA HA Telling my grandkids that one.

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CELIA1975 3/20/2011 8:30PM

    emoticon

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SVELTINGTON 3/20/2011 12:09PM

    emoticon

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CHICAGOHEALTHY 3/20/2011 9:51AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Thank you for the giggle. A great way to start the day!

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IDLETYME 3/20/2011 9:15AM

    Happy Sunday Judy,
Thanks for starting off my day with a smile! emoticon
I love your colorful "wallpaper" - bright and cheery!

emoticon Nancy emoticon emoticon

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JUSTLYLE 3/20/2011 8:32AM

    I being a farmer should have known this. LOL

Skeeter emoticon

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JUSTLYLE 3/20/2011 8:32AM

    I being a farmer should have known this. LOL

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RIKKI572 3/20/2011 8:11AM

    Thank you for sharing. Have a great day!
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CORKYTHEMOM 3/20/2011 7:25AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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