By Wendi Rank
Need to relax? Improve cardiac health? The TurfMutt Foundation’s Guide To Summer is an initiative to enjoy the outdoors. TurfMutt says spending time outside can improve health.
I live with outdoorsmen. They are less grumpy after a hike. The extent you’ll find me outdoors is a drive-in movie theater. I’m grumpy all the time.
Spending time outdoors has other benefits, says TurfMutt. Mycobacterium in soil produces the same chemical effect in the brain as Prozac. And children in a Spanish study improved attention and memory after time around foliage.
I tapped out at Mycobacterium. Popcorn, movies, and car exhaust are my Prozac.
But if Mycobacterium sounds good to you, TurfMutt’s July 1 blog offers steps to a Backyard Staycation. Have a variety of things to do, like games and water play. Designate shaded areas for relaxing or open spaces for camping.
Teach kids about your yard’s ecology with bird identification or barometers. TurfMutt’s website offers lessons that can help if you, like me, can’t tell a robin from a woodpecker.
Use what you already have to invent new adventures. Turn yard equipment into an obstacle course, or use a laptop for a drive-in movie.
Wait. Drive-in movie? I’m in!
TurfMutt suggests getting outside in public spaces too, but follow precautions. Valley Forge National Historical Park’s trails are great for hiking. The Crayfish Corps program encourages kids to seek out the rusty crayfish, an invasive species adversely affecting park habitat.
The Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board’s app links to deals for making a day of your trip to Valley Forge. There’s even a nearby campground, if camping is your thing.
It’s not mine.
Whatever you do, stoke the kids’ enthusiasm, says TurfMutt. Put everything on a calendar and count down.
I’ll skip the camping. But invite me to your drive-in.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wendi Rank is a Montgomery County native with a graduate degree from LaSalle University. She has worked as a registered nurse and nurse practitioner in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She has previously written for the journal Nursing.