By Dr. Sarah Vadeboncoeur, ND
Don’t worry! You haven’t missed the memo on the latest high antioxidant vitamin. Vitamin G stands for green space. And we’re all severely deficient.
I’ve started asking the patients I work with how often they get outside. Too often, they spend almost all of their time indoors during the week and might get out for a longer walk on the weekend. With winter upon us, and current lockdown measures, many of us aren’t getting outside enough.
In fact, getting some vitamin G is one of the best things we can do for our health and well-being right now. Spending time in green spaces, such as a parks, forests, and other natural settings has been shown to:
- Reduce anxiety and depression
- Boost your mood
- Improve concentration
- Improve immune function
- Support better sleep from optimal light exposure
It’s a simple yet powerful habit that we can start today. So, find a forest or park close to home and start getting outside for at least 20-30 minutes of fresh air daily.
Some of my favourite times for “forest bathing”, as the Japanese call it, are:
- First thing in the morning as soon as I wake up. I reward myself with a hot cup of coffee when I get back.
- At lunchtime during the mid-afternoon “slump” to get re-energized for the evening “shift” with my family.
- After dinner to help with digestion.
So, put on some warm clothing, a good pair of boots and enjoy nature’s gift of vitamin G. And we might cross paths in Hampton park, my daily source of vitamin G!
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