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New Year, New You

By: Levy Schroeder, Executive Director

How did 2019 get here so quickly? Who remembers Y2K when we thought the whole world was going to collapse or blow up or something? Fortunately nothing like that ever happened, and here we are, starting the new year once again, and I’ll bet most people are excited about a fresh new start and making progress on those New Year’s resolutions…or not.

It seems to me that many times those resolutions focus on negative aspects of our lives—I’m too this or too that, and by golly, this is the year I’m going to do something about it. That is a lot of stress! Do you really want more stress in your life? Aren’t these declarations supposed to make your life better?

 Many resolutions center on improving your health. Losing those extra pounds would be good, getting the heart rate up on a regular basis would be good, toning those muscles would be good, and eating salad would be good too.  What if we had another way to improve health? Well, there is!

Study upon study show us that being in nature has numerous positive health outcomes. It lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, boosts the immune system, increases energy levels, improves sleep, helps with attention and focus, and even accelerates healing from surgery or illness. It’s almost too good to be true!

So what would happen if, instead of, or in addition to resolving to do things that seem like torture (you know the machine in the gym I’m talking about!), you promise yourself to spend a few minutes a day, or a half hour or an hour each week outdoors. You don’t have to pretend to be Bear Grylls, or hike the Appalachian Trail to get the health benefits! It can be in your backyard, or a park, or one of the new bike trails, or come out to Wesselman Woods for a nice walk through the forest. Actually, if you don’t want to do a walk, just sitting on one of the benches enjoying the fresh air and pretty sounds will melt the tension from your shoulders and feed your spirit.

So Happy New Year! We hope to see some people getting healthy at Wesselman Woods this year!


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