December 18, 2012
MADISON - Whether still searching for that perfect holiday gift, making resolutions to exercise more in the new year or getting a jump on gift buying for 2013, people can check out eight gift ideas that a study suggests can make the recipient physically and mentally healthier.
These gift ideas from the Department of Natural Resources are good to give at any time of the year, and are good year-round. They range from state park and trail passes, to publications about the outdoors and where and how to enjoy certain activities, to a packet of 300 tree seedlings native tree seedlings and shrubs from the state nursery to give to a friend or family member to plant for reforestation and other conservation purposes.
Many of these gifts can be purchased online immediately. In some cases, you may need to make a call or email someone to secure the gift. And while DNR staff and vendors handling the calls will try their best to turn around the requests quickly, consider letting the recipient know with a card that a great gift is on the way.
A growing body of research, including a recently released study by University of Glasgow scientists, suggests that these outdoors-related gifts can help improve the recipients' physical and mental health.
The researchers looked at natural and non-natural environments for physical activity, including walking, running and cycling, and found that just being around trees and grass lowered brain stress levels, according to The Daily Telegraph.
The study also showed that the positive effect on people's mental health was 50 per cent more than they might expect from going to the gym, the paper reported. Those results add to a growing body of research into the mental and physical benefits of getting outdoors, nicely summarized by Jane Brody, the New York Time's veteran health reporter, in an November 2010 column (exit DNR).
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Lisa Gaumnitz (608) 264-8942