If you own a dog, you know they are always in better spirits and much better behaved if they get walked regularly. Turns out dogs are on to something! As described in a recent Yale publication, a large study has shown that people who spend at least two hours a week, even if split between multiple outings, are ‘substantially more likely to report good health and psychological well-being’ than those who don’t. This study is just one of a growing number that have shown interaction with the natural world has a robust and positive impact on people’s health.

Photo Credit: Karol Kohorst Sullivan

recent academic article notes the consensus of many natural, social, and health science professionals on the positive impact of nature on mental health. Dr. Jason Strauss, director of geriatric psychiatry at the Harvard University-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance noted that as men age they are at higher risk for mood disorders, due to such things as health issues, loss of loved ones or even a recent retirement. Some older men may be hesitant to use therapy or medication for help, but Dr. Strauss suggested that “interacting with nature is one of the best self-improvement tools they can use.”

Photo Credit: Fineas Anton on Unsplash.com

Marine Mills Folk School has long believed in the benefits of time spent in the outdoors, in fact we are so enthusiastic about the natural world that we’ve made it part of our mission! If you’re looking to come to the St. Croix Valley to camp or ski or do some other outdoor activity, let us know how your visit goes – better yet, combine your visit with taking a class at our folk school. And if you have any questions or are looking for recommendations for activities, ask us – we’re sure to have suggestions for you. See you outdoors!