Walk on and rock on


I took a two-week vacation from my walking/running program due to jury duty and my trip to Nashville last week.  I also broke my sugarless and flourless commitment –  and now I’m paying for it.

mo msu

My joint pain returned and I was just plain depressed.  A friend made me get out this morning and we did five miles through the MSU campus. The campus was fairly deserted since we are between semesters.   It is beautiful all year long, but especially in the spring.

I came home feeling so upbeat and refreshed that I was able to tackle my office clutter.

Research released this past weekend in the journal Environmental Science & Technology verifies  time in  nature can boost both mood and self-esteem. No wonder bears and raccoons have so few complexes.

According to the study, just five minutes of exercise in the great outdoors can give you a mental health lift. The researchers at the University of Essex examined data from 1,252 people, and looked at activities as diverse as farming, gardening, walking, boating, horseback-riding, cycling and fishing.

Though everyone benefited from so-called “green exercise,” younger people and those with mental health issues seemed to have the most positive improvements to their mental states.  I mean, I’m not totally mental or anything like that – but growing a year older and all the turmoil with floods and tornadoes put me in a temporary downward spiral.  It disappeared bit by bit with every mile logged .

The only natural environments that seemed to have an edge over the others were ones with water. According to lead researcher Jules Pretty, “A blue and green environment seems even better for health.” Past studies have shown that even a view of natural landscape from your window can improve your outlook.

We made plans to repeat our morning walking tour of Starkpatch and MSU regardless of weather conditions.  I might do it on my own, but it’s doubtful.  Having a partner makes the time fly and I was almost disappointed when it came to an end.

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