Saturday, January 29, 2011

Holistic View: I think I'll go for a walk outside

Under a Sky Full of Stars- Whimzwhirled

Our cold snap here in Southern Ontario has passed, warming up to a balmy -4° C this morning. So I'm going to suit up and go for a walk. I'll need a few winter essentials: long underwear for starters, wool socks, a sweater, winter coat, scarf, hat, mittens, and since I'm feeling really ambitious, snow pants (you never know when you'll suddenly have an overwhelming urge to make a snow angel).

I love winter walks for a few excellent reasons. First, my dog is the funniest in the snow. He dives right in, and always FACE first. He bounds, making him sort of look like a rabbit hopping through piles waist deep. And after his burst of energy he eats big mouthfuls of the white stuff (which automatically reminds me of being a kid, I used to eat snow all the time. It was delicious!)

The second reason I love winter walks is that I love to see the first signs of spring poking out-this is a great activity for kids by the way! Take your kids for a walk today (or pretend you're a kid, I won't tell) and play a game with them, 'I spy....Mother Nature Edition'. Notice the birds that are out, are they different than the birds you see in the spring and fall? What do their songs sound like? Notice the trees, are they really dormant? Or are they starting to bud, getting ready for spring's blooms. Notice the tracks in the snow, do you know what kind of animal made those tracks? A squirrel? A rabbit? A dog? If you're really lucky maybe a deer? Nature is out there, whether you live in the country or the city. You just have to be a detective (also fun to tell kids).

Third, going for a walk outside is good for you in so many ways! If the 'I spy' game doesn't have you grinning from ear to ear, maybe that feeling of connecting with nature will. Exercising, especially outdoors has been shown to improve mood, concentration, and boost your immune system [1-3]. My own anecdotal evidence- I love it when my students come inside from recess. They are much more quiet, focused, and ready to learn after they had some good ol' play time outside.

Thank you to Janice Sean of Whimzwhirled for the use of the her original hand built and digitally altered art collage 'Under a Sky Full of Stars'. This artwork, along with over 100 stunning original art collages and gift cards are available to purchase from Whimzwhirled's shop. Check it out, you'll be blown away!

1. Plante et al. 2007. Does Exercise Environment Enhance the
Psychological Benefits of Exercise for Women? International Journal of Stress Management, 14:88–98. See the article
2.O’Brien et al. 2011. Outdoor Education, Life Long Learning and Skills Development in Woodlands and Green Spaces: The Potential Links to Health and Well-Being. Forests, Trees, and Human Health. 343-372.
3. 2011. How Does Exercise Benefit the Immune System? Accessed on January 29, 2011 from:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sending me the link to your blog. I loved your story and please feel free to use my work when it fits your thought. Just let me know so I can enjoy your work as well.