Healthy Life

Nature, It’s What the Doctor Ordered

As science unveils concrete benefits of spending time outdoors, docs urge people to get outside.

When you’re sitting at the beach with the sun warming your back and the ocean’s waves lulling you into a state of pure bliss, it's not just your mood that's being elevated. Forces in nature are conspiring to promote healing on every level. That’s why medical professionals, like local holistic doctor Svetlana Kogan, have started writing actual scripts for time spent outdoors. “When you go out into nature, you’re clearing all the clutter and noise from your nervous system,” she says. “You're going to have better blood pressure, better blood sugar, less inflammation and a lower chance of cancer in the long run.” Hippocrates called it long ago when he said “walking is the best medicine.” Now, people are taking the advice to heart, thanks to an increased interest in holistic medicine, naturopathy (using the elements as medicine) and efforts such as ParkRx, which encourages doctors to prescribe time outdoors. The practice is on the rise across the nation under the leadership of the Institute at the Golden Gate, in San Francisco. Locally, Kogan says, it's already a way of life. But it's getting even easier for Southwest Floridians to get outside as green spaces become more abundant. “The movement is here,” Kogan says, adding that a visit to Delnor-Wiggins or a lunch break walk around Baker Park are easy ways for locals to get a dose of natural healing without having to v
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