Nature

photo of Appalachian trail

Get outside and PLAY.

It's elementary. We are a part of the natural world, and when we connect with it, we feel better in a multitude of ways. Each of us is dependent upon our connection to the natural environment.

Studies show that those who spend more time surrounded by nature are less depressed, confused, anxious, and experience a surge in energy and vitality. Visiting natural spaces such as parks and forests lowers stress levels and boosts immunity. Another example of our perfectly interconnected systems. Exposure to plants and trees - which release oxygen and other compounds is simply good for us.

You can fill a spiritual reservoir for days when you need it most, just by building memories of you being in nature. Surround your work and living space with images of your favorite spots and you'll relax.

Go for a walk today and discover the elements of nature first hand.

Sunshine

photo of sunrise

The sun is a supreme source of energy for life on our planet. Without it, we couldn't exist. Yet, many people run and hide from the sun. In reality, moderate exposure is required for good health. You see, just as plants photosynthesize, so too do we - the only difference is that we make crucial hormones rather than sugars.

A major benefit of the sun has to do with the body's production of the "sunshine vitamin" or vitamin D. D isn't actually a vitamin, but better described as a hormone. Vitamins are taken in through food whereas hormones are made internally. We are not designed to get our D from food, rather, we are designed to make it within.

I frequently see a direct correlation between my healthiest patients and their levels of Vitamin D. Sunshine offers us 'free D', it's the bargain of bargains.

Air

photo - mountain air

By getting outside from an air conditioned office or home, you give your body a break from stale air. It's easy. Go outside, breathe deeply and help your body to stay healthy and fresh.

Fresh air delivers many benefits:

  • Fresh air is good for digestion
  • Improves your blood pressure and heart rate
  • It makes you happier
  • Strengthens your immune system
  • Cleans your lungs
  • You will have more energy and sharper mind

Eastern cultures have long placed a high value on breathing to cultivate a positive relationship between the body and the mind, resulting in a calm state of being and resilient physiology. Yoga, qi gong and t’ai chi combine deep breathing and movement to support a steady central nervous response.

Asian women report fewer menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes. Studies on women during the menopausal transition show that paced breathing reduces hot flashes. And, there are no adverse effects to deep breathing.

When planning your next vacation, check out these top 10 cities with the freshest air

Water

photo of a mountain stream

Whether we are listening to a garden fountain, dipping our toes into the river, or splashing with our kids at bath-time; water is one of the most powerful conduits to 'happy' and 'healthy' we have on earth.

Natural hot springs have long been visited by cultures around the globe for their healing waters, which contain a unique mixture of minerals that detoxify the body and heal ailments ranging from stress to rheumatism.

The more we connect with water, the more we'll protect our most vital source of life.