Want to Live Longer? Opt Outdoors!

Written by Reynolds Defense Firm

On June 19, 2018

RDF’s First Annual Opt Outdoors contest is a big hit in our office! As a team, we’ve collectively hiked over 67 miles, spent 13 nights  camping under the stars, and 2 hours kayaking (thanks for your  creativity, Erin!).  It’s been fun to see our team battle it out in the great outdoors, it’s still too early to tell who’s going to win, but we’ve got some fierce competitors! More important than who wins are the benefits that our team is experiencing by getting outside, specifically, “forest bathing”.

What The Heck Is Forest Bathing?

No, its is not a hippie PNW term—its roots (pun intended) come from Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku.  It is simply being in nature  connecting with all of our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch.  By using all of our senses, we bridge the gap between ourselves and the natural world. No matter what you call it, there are studies that prove spending too much time indoors and on screens is unhealthy and that those who spend time in nature, are healthier and live longer than their indoor counterparts.  The benefits?
  • Creation of “natural killer”  (NK) cells that seek out and destroy bad cells in your body
  • Decreased risk of heart attack
  • Protection against diabetes & obesity
  • More energy and better sleep
  • Reduced feelings of anxiety and depression
Further, according to Dr. Eva Selhub of Harvard Medical School, being outdoors provides you with the benefits of getting natural sunlight.  Yes, having natural sunlight helps too!  When you go outside, you are soaking in vitamin D which helps to stabilize your melatonin levels.  This is needed, especially if you spend a lot of time behind a screen, which will cause destabilized melatonin levels.  Nature also floods you with negative ions and virtually invisible chemicals called phytoncides. These are responsible for helping to that improve your immune system and relax your body.  Unlike the positive ions that are emitted from electronics, negative ions will help reverse reactions that may be an unavoidable part of your daily life.

Why RDF Cares About Forest Bathing

One of the many reasons why clients choose RDF is because we lead by example, even with our lifestyle choices.  We have plenty of ideas that we share when our clients look for alcohol-alternative activities to participate in as they explore healthier lifestyle options. Communication is emphasized at RDF, and our clients feel comfortable to ask for friendly advice from our legal team all the way to our Window of Clarity coaches!  We even have a weekend rundown of activities and events we share on our blog each week.  It serves to encourage our clients and other readers to get out and try new things.  A healthier lifestyle shouldn’t be boring and lack-luster, right?  It should be fun, and at times, healing too!
Our entire team encourages you to get do more of what you love outdoors. It doesn’t matter if you have a picnic in a garden, take a stroll along the beach, read in a park, or practice yoga in your backyard.  It all counts!  How often should you get into the woods? Most studies show  benefits with as little as once every four weeks.  Give it a try – turn off your cell phone and immerse yourself in the forest!  We are lucky to live in a place where the forest is so easily accessible from home and work.  Join us and post your favorite pictures on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #OptOutdoorWithRDF.

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