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Creating Health and Well-being

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Monday, March 23, 2015

 

As I continue my graduate work at NC State, I cannot help but notice the similarities of my research in-connection with my work for the NCRPA Wellness Initiative. Currently I just finished an informative book called Restorative Commons: Creating Health and Well-being through Urban Landscapes, edited by Lindsay Campbell and Ann Wiesen.

Briefly, this book aims to discuss that the world’s population has shifted to more urban than rural. Because of this shift, the importance of finding ways for humans to stay in contact with the natural environment has increased. The authors discuss that parks, community gardens, botanical gardens, urban gardens, and public housing campuses offer opportunities for restoring both social and health function in urban regions. The book also discusses the positive benefits of nature, which help the improvement of mood, reduction of stress, and decreases the chance of chronic diseases. Furthermore, children’s activity in nature’s surroundings can encourage exploration and building which contribute to positive decision-making, creativity and problem-solving.

This resourceful book reinforces the importance of community gardens and accessible greenways in our communities. Our past blogs have discussed that contact with the natural environment can include physical activity, such as walking, running, and gardening or passive, which is viewing only.  Visit the NCRPA Community Gardens for ideas on establishing a garden within your community. Physical Activity in Gardening is another resource containing information describing examples of “aerobic” and “weight-bearing” activities of routine gardening. Remember to share information within your community regarding parks and walking/running path locations, especially now that the weather is warmer.

Get active outdoors this spring!

Have ideas? Please email us or submit them on the wellness site here:

(colleen@ncrpa.net,http://www.ncrpa.net/?Wellnesssub)

 

Colleen

Tags:  Community Gardens  Recreation  Restorative Commons  Well-being  Wellness  Youth Development 

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