Green Exercise

"O day after day we can't help growing older.
Year after year spring can't help seeming younger.
Come let's enjoy our winecup today,
Nor pity the flowers fallen."

-Wang Wei, On Parting with Spring

We are in the merry month of May where the frilled rhododendrons, open-faced pansies, columbines, climbing clematis and honeysuckle are in full glory. The weather is cooperative and the meadows are verdant. Even urban gardens are deserving of praise and the wildflowers scattered along the freeways make passing by every day more comforting.

A new study in the American Chemical Society's semi-monthly journal Environmental Science & Technology explain that green exercise is physical activity in the presence of nature, decreasing risk of mental illness and improving sense of well-being. And how much time should one spend to receive those benefits? In a fast-paced world such as ours where one balances family, secular, financial, and other responsibilities, our personal mental health, physical health, and sense of wellbeing can easily fall by the wayside. For those of you who can relate, good news: Just 5 minutes.

5 minutes walking in a park. 5 minutes working in a garden. 5 minutes biking through a trail. It's some of the cheapest, most pleasant routes of self-medicating around! And the benefits are far-reaching for yourself, your friends and family, and the environment.

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