Activate your body mind and senses!

Activate your body mind and senses!

Guest blogger: Sandra Moll

We have all heard about the importance of staying active to maintain both your physical and mental health.  In fact, there is a whole social movement called “Exercise is Medicine” that is a global call to action for healthcare providers to promote physical activity when treating patients. The American College of Sports Medicine is one of the drivers of this initiative and one of the quotes featured on their website is that “Exercise is a solution to one of the greatest public health problems of the 21st century”.  See for details.

There is more to health, however, than just activating your body.  There is a growing body of literature about the importance of activating your mind and senses as well.  Have you heard of “nature deficit disorder”?  This term was coined by Richard Louv in his 2005 book Last Child in the Woods.  He argues that that human beings, especially children, are spending less time outdoors and that this is resulting in a wide range of behavioral problems.  He argues for the health benefits of going outside and activating your senses since this is critical to learning and connecting with our world.

As I sit inside on a beautiful fall day working on my computer, I am reminded of the importance of the importance of not only activating my mind, but my body and senses as well!  Time to go outside for a walk with my dog and enjoy a bit of nature….

Let me know what you think!  What do you do to activate your body, mind and senses?  How does this affect your overall health and well-being?

2010 august macy 094


  • Gabi Woick

    I’m Gabriele from Berlin, Germany. The most important activity I do every day to activate my body, mind and senses is to commute to work by bicycle. I really enjoy the time I have just for me. It’s time to unwind, because I can’t do anything else simultaneously. I can’t be disturbed.
    Of course I activate my body whilst cycling. It’s exhausting, so it helps me to sleep well, like a log. Whilst cycling to work every day throughout the year, I’m activating my senses because I feel wind and weather both for one hour in the morning and one our in the evening.
    I’m looking forward to cycling every day. I really don’t want to miss it. The activation of my mind perhaps is most important for
    me because I have the time to enjoy the nature to see the sunrise, to meet a fox (yes!), to ride across puddles and to smell the wild garlic. This free time activates my mind in a way that I sometimes have a very good idea about a problem I didn’t think about before. Sometimes the time helps me to get rid of anger or to forget some trouble. Sometimes I use the time to plan or think about something, I didn’t have the leisure to do before.
    Watching the weather report every evening is an important ritual for me, because I want to be best prepared in choosing the
    right clothes. During my commute I have a well-adjusted occupational balance, because I can always enjoy the 2 hours physical activity per day. Going by bus would take the same time but with my bike I’m independent from the bus schedule. Plus I have a huge impact on my overall health and wellbeing.
    Researchers from Denmark, Copenhagen found in a prospective study with a follow-up examination 14,5 years later, that cycling to work decreased the risk of mortality by 40%. Even after multivariate adjustment, including leisure time physical activity. The participants were 13.375 women and 17.265 men, 20 to 93 years of age, who were randomly selected. The
    Participants spent an average time of 3 hours per week cycling to work (Andersen,Schnohr, Schroll and Hein, 2000).

    Andersen, L. B., Schnohr, P., Schroll, M., & Hein, H. O. (2000). All-cause mortality associated with physical activity during leisure time, work, sports, and cycling to work. Archives of Internal Medicine, 160(11),1621–1628.