I am proud to have guest Lee Kellogg handle today’s podcast as I recover from some dental surgery. Join us today as Lee discuss the importance of getting outside and getting some Vitamin D, and the benefits of nature! This is the place to get your mornings started!
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Episode 2886 Benefits of Nature | Find Time To Get Outdoors
[00:00:01] Good morning and, as you can guess, it’s not J.B. Glossinger. I am Lee Kellogg, and thank you for being here on Morning Coach today. I have stepped in to help J.B. do this podcast today, so we don’t have to listen to a rerun, even though they’re always really good. Every, every Morning Coach podcast I think is fabulous. But, as we know, J.B. had oral surgery the other day and is working on healing from that. And because of its location, it’s really limiting his vocal ability. So, you get to listen to me today. And thank you for listening. Thank you for listening to Morning Coach and supporting Morning Coach. And thanks for listening.
[00:00:45] So, don’t turn me off. I might have something interesting to tell you today because one of the things I am going to talk to you about is things that, it’s near and dear to my heart, and it’s something that I think a lot of us don’t get enough of. And that is what’s called vitamin N or N as in Nature. There are so many benefits of nature.
[00:01:05] We don’t get enough outside time. Being outdoors is really, really important, and it’s essential to us for our, for our health, for our life, our vibe, vibe, vibrancy and creativity. You know, J.B. often gives me the label of being the creative one and I am. I’m very, very creative. I spend the majority of my day teaching creativity and helping people be creative. And I find that because I spend a lot of time doing that, I have to recharge my creative batteries. And for me, that is spending time outside.
[00:01:52] So, if you think about the average American, spends, oh, about 22 hours a day inside and that includes being at home, being at work, and commute time. And I have a feeling in many other countries, especially the western or more developed countries, this is also the same, that we we spend way too much time inside, not enough time outside. And yes, granted, many of us live in places where it may be difficult to get outside or to be outside, whether it’s the weather, whether it’s too hot or too cold. We do have much more temperature extremes these days. But get out. It’s so important for you to get out. Look at green things.
[00:02:39] It helps the brain. In a whole variety of ways or just a whole bunch of research out there right now that talks about being outside and learning. In Germany, they have what’s called forest kindergartens where the kids get to spend all day outside learning. Imagine that, a 5 year old outside in the forest learning, just playing, learning things. They are given instruction. There is some structure to their day. But they are, more or less, outside all day long. I spent some time in… what really influenced me in being outdoors was in sixth grade, I was in school in the Portland, Oregon area. I went to outdoor school, and in that time, all sixth graders in the Greater Portland area went to outdoor school for a week. We went to camp for a week. And, we had high school counselors, high school students were our counselors, and we had our little cabins, and we did outdoor science things for the whole week. So, we played a lot too, but we did a lot of science.
[00:03:48] All the kindle of… the flame was kindled in me. It actually had been started by my grandparents, but the flame of being outdoors and the passion was lit. But being with the era that I grew up in, I wasn’t strong enough to say I’m going to stay in this, but I had, it always remained a passion and an interest for me. I went on to become a bird watcher, which has greatly influenced a lot of what I do. I also ended up working at the Audubon Society of Portland for a couple of years as an environmental educator. That was a blast. It was an absolute blast helping people, teaching people about the outdoors.
[00:04:27] So being outdoors. Why? One thing that’s really important is you need your vitamin D. And a couple of weeks ago, I had a conversation with my sister-in-law and a friend of hers who were busy slathering on all their sunscreen. They’re like, “Oh, we can’t get skin cancer!” And I’m like, “and you’re taking vitamin D supplements, right?” And she’s like, “Well, yeah, my vitamin D levels are low.” I’m like, “OK, you can get vitamin D for free. Spend 20 minutes outside before 10:00 or after 3:00 or 4:00 in most climates,” now granted most, “will provide you with enough vitamin D almost daily.” One day my husband came home when he had had his blood work done, and they said, “Oh, your vitamin D levels are low,” and I looked at him and I said, “There is no way living at 7000 feet in the southwest you should be low in vitamin D. You are not outside enough.” And I made him go outside. Like, “dude, you need a farmer’s tan. I see a tan line on your on your arms if you’re going to wear your T-shirt. I want to see a tan line.” And this year he’s got one. And guess what? His vitamin D levels are just fine. I know there are people who don’t process vitamin D very well, and you may have to do supplements, or because of your situation, you can’t get outside easily. But you, most of us can get outside and get enough vitamin D. Australia went through a spell where they had children with rickets. Rickets hadn’t been seen since the first part of the last century. And it’s a lack of vitamin D because they were slathering the kids with sunscreen and covering them all up, so they weren’t getting any vitamin D. No sunshine. You need your signs sunshine. Really and truly you do. You do, you do.
[00:06:16] So, being outdoors. The Japanese have also discovered that spending time in the forest is what they call forest medicine, and it’s actually very, very good for you because conifers like pine trees and Junipers and Cypress, those types of trees, they’re conifer, they emit volatile oils which we inhale and are good for us. And that’s why when you go into a pine forest, it smells so good, especially in the summer. I just love- like I was just up in the mountains in Idaho for the eclipse- and I love that smell that the Ponderosas and the other pines give off. It’s just so, it smells so good. And to me, it evokes memories of childhood and pleasure, and it’s still, I still relate to it as as pleasurable. And it turns out, it’s really good for me. It’s very calming. Our brain takes those smells and in those oils, sort of, you know, it’s an essential oil, essence, in essence, and it calms us. And what they have done, the Japanese have been studying this for years, for decades- and the U.S. is just starting to get in on the forest medicine thing- but they have discovered that spending a couple of days in the forest in amongst the trees has a beneficial effect that lasts for at least 30 days, if not longer, in lowering your stress.
[00:07:38] There’s also been studies that being outside and relaxing your brain, stop having, getting away from electronics and from all the, the, the constant noise in man-made stimulation that goes on in our world helps your brain 1) relax and 2) be more creative. I know that when I’m working at home and I’m writing or I’m recording, and I need, I, it’s like I’ll come to a wall. I’ll be, like, my brain is just like done. I got it. I have to go out and walk. And sometimes I’ve working so intently and so focused that my dog will come make me take him for a walk. So, we will get out and walk for about a half hour and just enjoy just being outside in the fresh air. And I, you know, I don’t even, I don’t care what the weather is, if the wind’s blowing, it’s raining, snowing, unless it’s super muddy- and where I live, that can happen- I want to be outside. I’m going to walk and just dress appropriately. I grew up in Portland, Oregon; I can deal with the rain. And, I can deal with the sunshine now. You know, it’s all good. But I come back from our walk feeling just so invigorated and so revived that it’s amazing what a half hour walk does for me. Steve Jobs used to have walking meetings, important meetings. He wouldn’t sit in his office and in the meeting room. He’d say, “No, we’re going for a walk.” Einstein used to walk around Princeton, the campus at Princeton, when he was contemplating problems. There’s the Greeks also knew that about walking and needing to heal yourself. That was a common one with the Greeks and walking.
[00:09:25] So walking is good for you. Being outside is even better because, yes, walking on a treadmill will help, but being outside is the best. Looking at the plants, I mean, that’s one of the things I take great delight in is when I walk around, especially in new areas and neighborhoods, is looking to see who’s got what growing in their garden or what birds are around in the area. I was in Portland, Oregon at the end of July and stayed with my brother who actually bought the house that he’s in from me when I left Portland, and it was interesting walking around the neighborhood and seeing all the changes. But noticing the environmental changes for the better. When you leave a place and you come back almost two decades later, the trees are definitely much larger and the gardens have all changed. How we deal with front yards in a lot of neighborhoods has changed and how we garden and the plants that we garden with has changed. But also I noticed I was hearing birds that I had no memory of in that part of town. And it was fun, it was fun to hear ’em. It was exciting to see what was going on. And even though I was in the middle of the city, I could hear- we’re right above the shipyards- you can hear the trains banging as they load the cars and hook them together and, you know, stuff going on the ships and coming off the ships and the trains and the noise and the freeway. It was still relaxing. Because I was outside in amongst trees.
[00:10:53] And they have done, there are studies that show that people who live close to green spaces or parks and get outside frequently are much better, healthier, much healthier than people who don’t. So just get out and play. Enjoy the benefits of nature. Do something. Enjoy. You know? And it will help, it will… Yes, I’ve been talking all about outdoors and all of that, but how does that help my creativity? It helps a lot. And you would be surprised. And really and truly all of you are creative. The common one I hear everyday, and maybe I’ll do another podcast maybe one day about it. But you are creative. More importantly, stay healthy. Get outside and play. Plan a family vacation. Even though we’re, we’re just doing the back to school thing, we got Labor Day this weekend, get outside. Do a picnic. Do a hike. If it’s clear where you are this weekend, do a stargazing. I was watching this morning while I was walking because I walk really early in the morning while it’s still dark. I was looking at Orion and Taurus coming up over the eastern horizon, and it was just, it just makes me feel delighted to see the twinkling stars every morning. If you live in a city area, you will have to get out of the city to see the stars. Get away from the light pollution, and for you folks that are in humid areas, you don’t get to see so much anyway. You know, I apologize for that, but there’s not much I can do about it. But plan a trip where you get to go see some stars and be amongst the trees and enjoy.
[00:12:38] Thank you for listening today. Stay in touch and do leave J.B. a review. Rate the podcast and subscribe. Thanks. I’m Lee Kellogg, and you can find me at LeeKellogg.com and my podcast on iTunes is Lee. Thanks for listening. Bye bye.