RULE: Get Outside

Forrest Park

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about living in Portland, it’s that, except for 2 months each summer,  it is always raining, about to rain, or looks like it’s about to rain.  Most of the time it just looks like it’s about to rain, so I’ve learned to just get outside anyway.  So what if I get a little wet, or completely soaked, as it may be.  There are always excuses not to go outside (it’s too hot, it’s too cold, too muddy…) or not to exercise or not to take the kids to the park, but the truth is WE NEED TO BE OUTSIDE.  Studies now show depression and suicide rates are higher in people who do not spend time in nature.  That’s scary as most of us live inside, work inside and spend the majority of our time….INSIDE.

So what can we do to combat this?  GET OUT!  Plan vacations doing outdoor things picnics, bike rides, hikes, scavenger hunts, (REI rents camping equipment and Craig’s list sells it), go to the park with your family, talk a walk after dinner, eat in your back yard.  Open your windows.  Explore your local parks over your lunch break.

Some cities and companies around the world are building in “nature time” during the work day to keep their citizens and employees happy and healthy.  So instead of a smoke break or a gossip break, or TV time, roll your ole’ bones outside and drink in the wonder! It will keep your brain and your body functioning optimally!

(picture taken by yours truly in one of my favorite outdoor places, Forrest Park)

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Madeleine Vanstory attended Duke University and began her post-graduate journey at The Elaine Clark Center working with special needs children. She went on to work as a Clinical Research Scientist running clinical trials for the CDC and developing medical devices for Welsh Allen, Abbot Labs, Roche and Johnson & Jonhson Her work included non-invansive cervical cancer detection, continuous diabetic glucose monitoring, non-harmful infant bilirubin level detection and studying Vitamin C's anti-aging effects on the skin. Madeleine attended Medical school at The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and completed a residency in Family Medicine at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro NC. Dr. Madeleine Vanstory is a board certified Family Physician who has practiced all over the world. She has lead medical missions in Kenya and Honduras. She has participated with Operation Smile in Russia, she has patients in North Carolina, Maine, Oregon and New Zealand. Dr. Vanstory has worked the medical tents in the Marine Corps marathon in Washington DC and at the Kona Ironman World Championships. And Dr. Vanstory has marched with the Surgeon General promoting "Exercise is Medicine" at the World Congress Sports Medicine Conference. Disillusioned by the current health care system and armed with the realization that culture, nutrition and emotional well-being have a profound impact on health, Dr. Vanstory now motivates clients and patients to discover the healthiest versions of themselves through humor, counseling in her "Upgrade Your Health" Wellness Program.

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