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Massage Today
March, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 03

It's Time to Spring Into Action

By Sharon Puszko, PhD, LMT

I've noticed a familiar drip, drip, drip sound coming from my patio this week that is putting a smile on my face. It is the sound of snow and ice slowly, but surely, melting off the roof and dripping down the gutter.

Even though the last couple of winters have been more mild than usual in the Midwest, I still find myself anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring in March. While I enjoy the snow after it first falls, it always seems to turn into a slushy, dirty mess after a couple of days. Which makes it unpleasant to walk in, hike in, or simply get from my car into a building - especially when carrying a table. The disappearance of snow and the dirty snow piles makes it much easier for me to get outside on a regular basis. Since spring is now just around the corner, it is a perfect time to come out of hibernation and re-convene with nature.

Of course, we have all heard that it is good for us to spend time outside. The fact that sunlight touching human skin creates the most absorbable form of vitamin D available is a powerful testament to the importance of spending time outdoors. But, how often do you really get outside? I believe the answer to this question varies greatly depending on where people live and what their lifestyle is like. While some may be spending an abundance of time outside, my guess is that for the majority of us, there is room for improvement.

spring into action - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark I know we all lead busy lives, but getting quality "nature" time every week is really important. There are a plethora of reasons to get outside on a regular basis - indeed, entire books have been written on the subject. Let me share with you just a few I came across. Hopefully, one or more of them will pique your interest and motivate you to spend some more time outdoors.

"Time-Out" For Adults

If your business is near a park or a quiet street, use a break in between clients to step outside for 10 minutes, and either sit on a bench or take a brief walk. If you are located near a busy street, or in a large city, I would recommend taking a brief walk with headphones and your favorite music. I, personally, would not find it relaxing to sit on a bench in the middle of Chicago. Try to forget about the phone, TV, Internet, to-do lists and family obligations for just 10 minutes. Getting outdoors is one good way to relax and recharge our body and mind. This is so important to us as practitioners!

Feed Your Brain

In a 2008 study, researchers at the University of Michigan found memory performance and attention spans improved by 20 percent after people spent an hour interacting with nature. We now live in a world of instant gratification and more people seem to have attention spans that are drifting in 10 directions at once. No doubt, we could all benefit from improving our ability to concentrate and remember things.

Invite New Things Into Your Life

When you leave the confines of your office or home, you enter a whole new environment, filled with new sights, sounds, smells, textures and people. By visiting a park or walking around the neighborhood, you can make new connections with people that would have never been possible. When you visit the same place at roughly the same time, you will probably start to recognize some of the faces you come across. Who knows what that might lead to: an interesting friendship or possibly a new client.

As the weather warms and the sights, sounds and smells of Spring begin to appear, I hope you will take advantage of at least one of these reasons and get outside. You, and your clients, will be glad you did.

Click here for more information about Sharon Puszko, PhD, LMT.


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