Get out–really. Connect with nature for greater well-being:

NYC’s Central Park: One of my favorite places on earth

By Karen Hendricks

When your mother told you to “Go play outside,” she may have been laying the groundwork for a lifelong healthy habit.

A recent study, reported by The Los Angeles Times, found that people who came into contact with nature, even in urban environments, boosted their well-being.

It’s considered landmark work because it measured how nature within a built environment can affect mental well-being–for the first time. Since more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and numerous studies point to a link between city dwelling and higher risk of mental health issues, the authors say their work could help city planners incorporate more natural features.

The study, published in the journal Biosciencefound that people were more likely to report higher states of well-being when they were outdoors, seeing trees, hearing birds singing, seeing the sky and feeling in contact with nature. 

The positive effects on well-being of seeing trees and seeing the sky lasted for more than two hours. Additionally, when people answered “yes” to the question “Do you feel in contact with nature?” researchers measured a statistical effect on mental well-being that lasted nearly five hours.

It’s a timely topic: Today is National Arbor Day, on the heels of Earth Day, as most of the country (finally) begins to feel and see the effects of spring.

Three of my published articles in April focused on nature and the great outdoors. Perhaps the implications of enjoying nature go much deeper into our health and well-being than we realize! 

Through It All: In springtime, the thru-hikers take to the A.T., TheBurg, April 2018

20 Ways to Go Wild in Central PA: Discover adventure at any age in local nature centers, wildlife sanctuaries and moreSusquehanna Style, April 2018

25 Hot Spots to Dine Out(doors)Susquehanna Style, April 2018


Source: Nature boosts your mental health, LA Times


Wellness: In Mind, Body & Spirit

Wellness is all the rage: It’s a $686 billion industry–and growing. The global market for health and wellness is expected to swell to $815 billion by 2021, according to Euromonitor International.

The buzzword “wellness” can be defined as “the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being” (World Health Organization).

Going one step further, wellness “goes beyond mere freedom from disease or infirmity and emphasizes the proactive maintenance and improvement of health and well-being… incorporating attitudes and activities that prevent disease, improve health, enhance quality of life, and bring a person to increasingly optimum levels of well-being” (Dr. Jack Travis’ Illness Wellness Continuum).

Wellness is tied to:

  • health
  • fitness
  • nutrition
  • health eating
  • exercise
  • sleep
  • mental health
  • managing stress
  • corporate wellness programs
  • meditation
  • spa industry
  • outdoor recreation
  • weight loss
  • lifestyle

With that in mind, much of my work has focused on wellness lately! Here are three recently-published articles touching on wellness… and look for more to come!

Gaining Momentum: Tracey Wakeen shares her passion for fitness, TheBurg, March 2018

18 Ways to Get Healthy in 2018Susquehanna Style, February 2018

On the Rocks: Climbing high, warm and dry, in Perry CountyTheBurg, January 2018

What areas of wellness interest you? Feel free to comment, below: