In a world where pharmaceutical drug use is skyrocketing, a conscious group of physicians are using a different approach and have been advising their patients to go on a hike instead of sending them in the nearest pharmacy to buy meds. Believe it or not, “park prescriptions” have been present since 2008, however, the idea is currently spreading as wild fire throughout the U.S., but elsewhere too, which seems quite reasonable if we take into consideration the increase of people suffering from obesity and different mental health disorders.
What’s more, they are also following the “trend” of prescribing healthy foods like veggies, fruits, etc. to ill patients. It appears that the answers we have been looking for are hidden in nature.
The Healing Capacity of Nature
As noted on Wake Up World, Daphne Miller, a physician in San Francisco is one of the group of doctors who give “park prescriptions” to their patients. Here is how these prescriptions look:
- Drug: Exercise in Canyon Park
- Dosage: 45 minutes of walking or running
- Directions: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
- Refills: unlimited
According to Dr. Miller, it is much easier to stick with a workout plan when we are spending time outdoors, probably because of the changing scenery and the fresh air. Her patients who are following this type of prescriptions have reported the ability to avert a lot of health problems.
A physician from Washington DC, Robert Zarr, is another advocate of “park prescriptions”. Once, he advised an obese teen patient to use the school bus only in one direction and to take the park route from school. The patient was able to shed surplus pounds and she felt much better about herself and much happier. According to Dr. Zarr, this is no different approach than prescribing a medication for an ear infection or asthma.
Zarr’s Efforts to Make Nature a Daily Part of People’s Lives
Due to the increasing amount of scientific data showing that regular contact with nature is effective in averting or alleviating a lot of the chronic diseases caused by urban life, Dr. Zarr made an online database of approximately 350 green spaces in the area so that physicians can type in the patient’s zip code and find parks in their area. Currently, there are at least 50 programs created with the goal to encourage people to spend more time in nature and enjoy its benefits.
But, “park prescriptions” are not the only alternative approach that physicians are using, they are also prescribing fruits and veggies as remedies. These programs, as emphasized on Wake Up World, are capable of lowering one’s BMI and chronic stress, which have been linked to chronic illnesses.
You do not need to wait to feel ill to go out in nature more and to better your diet! Your body, mind, and spirit will be grateful and healthier than ever before.
To learn more about park prescriptions, make sure you take a look at the video below: