Posts Tagged ‘nature’

By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

I really like the Wounded Warrior Project on Facebook. Aside from the great work they do helping wounded vets, Wounded Warrier Project Facebook authors tend to post about some of the most recent research on PTSD and other mental health interventions for veterans and military personnel. Much of the research is also beneficial for the general population as well.

I recently read one of their posts about a new study designed to determine if using nature as form of therapy for veterans with PTSD is helpful.  Sara Legg from the Daily Utah Chronicle, does a nice job of summing up the research for lay people in her article, aptly named, U Researchers Examine Nature as a Form of Therapy for Military Veterans. Legg reports that the recently funded study will be undertaken in late Summer or early Fall 2016 at the University of Utah. The research group is in the process of designing their research parameters and plan to use personal interviews, surveys and photos in the project.


Daniel Dustin, PhD, one of the study principal investigators and is a professor in University of Utah’s Parks Recreation And Tourism Department in the College of Health.

Daniel Dustin, Ph.D

Daniel Dustin, Ph.D

From his university bio: Daniel L. Dustin is a Professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism in the College of Health. He holds a bachelor’s degree in geography and a master’s degree in resource planning and conservation from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in education with an emphasis in recreation and park administration from the University of Minnesota. Among his recent works as an author and editor are Stewards of Access-Custodians of Choice: a Philosophical Foundation for Parks, Recreation, and Tourism; Speaking Up and Speaking Out: Working for Social and Environmental Justice through Parks, Recreation, and Leisure; Service Living: Building Community through Public Parks and Recreation; The Wilderness Within: Reflections on Leisure and Life; Making a Difference in Academic Life: a Handbook for Park, Recreation, and Tourism Educators and Graduate Students; and Nature and the Human Spirit: Toward an Expanded Land Management Ethic. Link to Dr Dustin’s previous research here.

I am excited to read more about the study this Fall or Winter, 2016! I’ve been posting about the effects of nature on stress and mental health for years. Here are some of my research based posts on nature and stress:
A Cure For Burnout and Stress–As Simple as a Walk In The Woods!

In the Nature Versus Technology Contest, Nature Wins

Check out the Nature and Stress category of my blog for other posts about local and international places to experience nature, relaxation and peace.

Read Full Post »

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Glen Falls, Cashiers, NC. Image by Sue Shekut

It’s an amazing year for outdoor enthusiasts like you and me! Not only did the federal government establish the America Great Outdoors initiative, but outdoor gear retailer, The North Face, announced the creation of the Explore Fund™ Grant Program to Reconnect Children with Nature. This is such a great idea to tackle childhood obesity, stress and give children great health and fitness experiences in the great outdoors. And it gives children a chance to explore a wonderful world that they might not see if left to play video games indoors.

The North Face Partners is providing more than$100,000 Outdoor Nation Youth Summit Delegates and other groups that help reconnect children with nature. “Today’s young skiers, campers, runners and climbers are tomorrow’s outdoor enthusiasts and conservationists,” said Steve Rendle, President of The North Face and VF Outdoor Americas. “We are providing education, access and connection through ongoing events, funding and PlanetExplore—an online community that helps individuals and families discover local outdoor recreational activities. Our goal is to get more people outside, having fun and exploring their world in ways that are meaningful to them.”

The Conservation Fund also announced a $50,000 matching grant to the Outdoor Foundation to be used with the Explore Fund to support concepts generated by the Outdoor Nation delegates. The Outdoor Nation event brings together 500 young delegates from each of the 50 states to champion the outdoors. The delegates were selected based on interest in the outdoor and a commitment to lead local, regional and national efforts that will reconnect youth and nature.

“Reconnecting young people with the outdoors is critical for the health of our population, our economy and our environment. It’s time for a new Outdoor Revolution and we need young people to step up and lead. Thanks to the Outdoor Foundation, The North Face and our many other partners, the delegates at the Outdoor Nation Youth Summit will for the first time be able to do just that,” said Larry Selzer, President and CEO, The Conservation Fund.”

“Recent high profile government initiatives like the America’s Great Outdoors program and the First Lady’s ‘Let’s Move’ campaign are part of a national trend to encourage Americans – especially youth – to lead healthier lifestyles and reconnect with nature. Across the country programs are trying to get kids outside and moving; however, few programs are focused on young people as leaders,” said Chris Fanning, Executive Director, The Outdoor Foundation. “Outdoor Nation and the Explore Fund initiatives are two of the first efforts that aim to empower youth to champion outdoor change in their communities and on their campuses.”

What is The North Face®?

The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1968. Headquartered in San Leandro, California, the company offers technically advanced products to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snow sport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company’s products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snow sport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers and major outdoor specialty retail chains.

What is The Conservation Fund?

The Conservation Fund is dedicated to advancing America’s land and water legacy. With our partners, we conserve land, train leaders and invest in conservation at home. Since 1985, it has helped protect more than 6 million acres, sustaining wild havens, working lands and vibrant communities. Learn more here.

What is Outdoor Nation?

As part of a broader national initiative, Outdoor Nation and its community of ‘Outsiders’ are committed to increasing and expanding youth participation through entertainment, education, engagement and action – especially among urban communities and communities of color – resulting in a healthier, more active generation.

What is The Outdoor Foundation?

The Outdoor Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and growing future generations of outdoor enthusiasts. Through ground-breaking research, action-oriented convening and outreach and education programs, the Foundation is working with partners to mobilize a major cultural shift that leads all Americans to the great outdoors. In 2010, the Foundation launched Outdoor Nation — a ground-breaking initiative that aims to empower youth to champion the outdoors on campuses and in communities. For more information click here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Read Full Post »

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

If you read my blog you know I am a big nature lover and outdoors enthusiast. Being outside in nature, hiking, biking swimming or whatnot, makes me feel calmer, fitter and happier overall. I’ve written about nature and stress management and how both exercise and nature can help alleviate anxiety and other stress related conditions. Now, I hear that the current Presidential Administration is on the same page!

This past April at the White House Conference on America’s Great Outdoors, President Obama established the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to develop a conservation agenda to reconnect Americans with our great outdoors.  The President understands that protecting and restoring the outdoor spaces that we love and reconnecting people to the outdoors must happen at the local level. Therefore, President Obama directed the principal leaders of the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to travel across the country to listen and learn from people directly involved in finding grassroots solutions to reconnect Americans to the outdoors.  The President indicated that the sessions should engage the full range of interested groups, issues, and solutions.

Chicago Outdoor Enthusiasts this is your chance to Shine! Join senior representatives from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) for a public listening session and discussions in Chicago, IL on the relationship of health and the outdoors. Discussion will include active and passive recreation, barriers to access, and new ideas, opportunities, and solutions for enhancing healthy living outdoors for all Americans.

Listening Session and Discussion Information

When: Tuesday, August 31, 2010


GENERAL Listening Session

Northwestern University School of Law

Thorne Auditorium

375 E. Chicago Ave. Chicago, IL 60611

8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

YOUTH Listening Session (high school & college)

Prentice Women’s Hospital

250 East Superior Street – Room L
Chicago, IL 60611

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Who: National and local leadership from Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality will be present to hear your thoughts and to participate in a conversation with you about America’s Great Outdoors.

  • 8:30 am – 12:30 pm: General Session to capture public input for a report back to the President
  • 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Youth Session to engage the next generation on ideas for making healthy living outdoors more available, accessible, and affordable

Both sessions are free and open to the public. They will make every effort to accommodate everyone, though space may fill up, so please pre-register via the email address below corresponding to the session you wish to attend (note that adults above age 24 should attend the General Session to allow space for youth ages 16-24 to participate in the Youth Session).

Please Register

To reserve a seat in the discussion, please register in advance via email below with:

·         your name

·         the name of the organization with which you are affiliated, if any

·         your telephone number

·         an email address where we may confirm your registration

(On-site registrations will be accepted if space is available.)


Please consider public transportation to the event:

  • CTA Bus Route #66 Chicago Ave
  • CTA Red Line “L” train: exit train at Chicago Ave stop walk/take cab/bike east to event space

Address: Chicago Ave. and 800 N. State Street

Parking at Northwestern Memorial Hospital:
The main parking structure is located at the Huron/St. Clair parking garage, 222 East Huron St.

  • $10 for less than seven hours
  • $22 for seven to 24 hours

A validation for a parking discounts may be available at customer service desks located in Feinberg/Galter Pavilions, 1st and 2nd floor, and Prentice Women’s Hospital, 1st floor.


If you have questions, please call Andrea Cernich at 240-276-9869.

Website for Your Comments

If you are unable to participate in person, please submit your comments and ideas via the America’s Great Outdoors website at http://www.doi.gov/americasgreatoutdoors/.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: