As I sit down to write this post for Peak Prosper, I feel an outpouring sense of joy, authenticity, and gratitude. Today’s subject, the therapeutic healing power of time outside is very close to my heart, business, and community that I’ve built my life around, it is a foundational element to my recovery from substances, and the self-sabotaging thoughts that had destructed much of my life. These days, I go to nature to be healed, restored to right-mindedness, and to connect with friends, family, and God; which to me is an acronym for ‘Great Out Doors”.
Hippocrates called walking “man’s best medicine”, I would add that walking in the woods is the greatest medicine available today. And, the great news, doctors are starting to prescribe it to patients as a remedy before dishing out their every day go-to pill fill.
In my lifetime I’ve visited many doctors, most of which had a drug or surgical suggestion for every problem presented, never have I been asked, when was the last time you spent quality, connected time outside, what do you most love to do outdoors, how often do you do it?
The benefits I receive from spending time in nature are immeasurable, but today, science seeks to quantify the effect of time outside on common illnesses such as, substance abuse, stress, depressions, obesity, isolation, high blood pressure, tuberculosis, anxiety, ADHD, NDD …. the list could go on infinitum. The raw reality is, today people are becoming heavier, sadder, and sicker with each passing day, while there are complex miracle cures to all of these problems, the simple and undeniable remedy is adventurous time outside, where we get to express our true authentic and free being.
This excerpt from the May 19’ issue of Outside Magazine’s Article NatureRx by Aaron Reuben sums things up nicely…
“Exposure to non threatening natural stimuli, scientists have discovered, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress-hormone levels, promotes physical healing, bolsters immune-system function, raises self-esteem, improves mood, curtails the need for painkillers, and reduces inflammation.”
Today, I am going to share what I’ve learned from personal experience and science backed research in hopes that you hear something that inspires you to get outside or help others find the path to health in nature that we both already share.
I am inspired to share this information because of the benefits received on a daily basis from my adventures in the outdoors, because of the number of people I speak with who have lost touch with the outdoors as a therapeutic channel for health, wellness and healing, because I believe time outside is the most powerful remedy to the worst of things that affect us, and because adventuring in nature is fucking awesome.
So, rather than a refill on your traditional prescription during your next doc appointment, perhaps you should ask if nature is right for you. Inspired by the Australian Recreation department parks Victoria, a growing number of physicians, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and cardiologists are beginning to prescribe a visit to the outdoors prior to a pill fill.
For years I have been talking about a fear of my mind that I see becoming a reality at an ever sickening rate, our relationship with technology is restricting our views and limiting the human experiences in nature that truly create sustained health, wealth, and happiness. The term (NDD) Nature Deficit Disorder coined by Richard Lovv in his book “Last Child in the Woods” is affecting nearly 100% of the American population, correlating to the obesity epidemic, which leads to hundreds of other connected chronic illnesses. I see it everywhere I go and have found that no one, including myself is immune to NDD, but there is a simple solution.
The solution is as simple as NatureRx… a personally or physician prescribed dose of time outside. While there is a growing body of scientific evidence that supports the healing power of nature… I am going to blanket it all with this statement, and there is no denying the truth behind it…
The most powerful solution to our growing health epidemic is summed up in this formula inspired by my personal experience and research….
Healthy Wellthy Mind, Body, Spirit = (NatureRx * Strength) + Physical Activity + Nourishing Food + Community Connection
Now let’s unpack a simplified and applied example of this formula.
If used properly it strips out all the unnecessary shit that is making us sicker with each passing day. The things that isolate us, and remove us from a core component to happiness, which after all is most everyone’s primary goal. It reconnects us to what fills our mind and body with a sense of thriving energy, love, and community.
If I were writing a prescription for someone that was depressed, overweight or had another one of the above mentioned illnesses that had a desired outcome of inner peace, health and wellness, it would look something like this…
Strength Scale: City Park, State Park, National Park, Wilderness
- Options: Hike, Run, Climb, Backpack, Backcountry Ski, Mountain Climb, Rock Climb, Mountain Bike, Road Biking and Yoga
Nourishing Food: BoBo Bar, Banana, Almonds
Community Connection: 1-5 inspiring friends who lift you up
Frequency: 3X / Week * 3 Months
Time: 30 minutes /
Dispense # 36
What we receive as a result of applying this concept is a change of lifestyle that inspires less stress in our daily lives; a root of many of the major illnesses that are epidemics in today’s world. Sustainable weight loss, emotional balance, physical healing, and community connection all become secondary benefits from just showing up and becoming a participant.
Today, I’d like to leave you with a few questions that I typically ask my clients, if you are happy with your answers, then great, take these questions and help someone you love awaken to their current reality, if you are not happy with your answers, then refer to my sample prescription above… I guarantee you 100% that it will change your life for the better and you will be happy with the outcome.
NDD Nature Deficit Disorder Diagnosis Questions
- What is going on in your life that causes unnecessary stress?
- How would you describe your current health and wellness in one sentence?
- How often do you get outside?
- What do you like to do outside?
- Where do you like to explore outside?
Answering these questions truthfully and taking action to change your life one day at a time could be your remedy to a laundry list of possible health problems. Personally, the formula above has helped me lose unwanted weight, build inspiring friendships, eat healthier, and find inner peace and stillness.
Coinciding with this article, I am so stoked to announce the first in a series of Peak Prosper Adventures. Eventually, these will evolve into guided adventure expeditions around the world, the first of which will be this October to Nepal, but today we are starting small with a free weekly Columbia Gorge Adventure.
The purpose of these adventures is to inspire and empower one another to become our best healthiest selves by connecting through the outdoor experience.
The details of this week’s adventure can be found below, I look forward to seeing you at the trailhead.
What: Peak Prosper Adventure : Mitchell Point
When: Thursday 5-30-19 at 5:30 PM
Where: Mitchell Point, Columbia River Gorge
What to Bring: Your True Awesome Self or You Can Show Up as Elastigirl, Superman or Another One of Your Favorite Superheros and Your 10 Essentials
Summit as Friends,