Wednesday, March 17, 2010


When I was lobbying, escaping into the Phoenix Mountain Preserve on the weekend for hours at a stretch - literally, three to five hours - was the only way to expunge all that adrenalyn coursing through my body the rest of the week. 

Half the year I reside in Kansas City.  I make frequent trips back to Phoenix during those months, in part just to get myself onto the mountain.  I always come away with the realization that I must live by a mountain.  I need to be in the mountains.  I am emotionally and physically healthier - I do not merely live in Phoenix, I thrive there - and the health differential is a palpable reality that pulls me back to Phoenix over and over.  Of course, it doesn't hurt that most of my long-term friendships are in Phoenix, but in truth, the mountains feel like life to me.  Sorry if that comes across as melodramatic, but it's my reality.

Today my friend Linda Ramo shared a blog post by her friend Debbie Wohl Isard (right), who apparently also thrives in the preserve.  Her post discusses the health implications of being out in nature for individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder.  Since it is no secret that I am A.D.D. - nobody who knows me ever asks whether I might slow my life down a bit;  they all know that if my life isn't naturally moving at 100 mph, I'm going to rev it up intentionally - this post was of great interest to me.  In case there's anyone in your life who's a 100 mph junkie, I'm sharing a link to the post.  Here's a tidbit to wet your whistle:

"Dr. Frances Kuo, Ph.D. and colleagues at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Landscape and Human Health Laboratory conducted a study involving approximately 100 families throughout the mid-west. The participants were ages 7-12 with a ratio of 3:1 boys to girls, which reflects the typical gender distribution of ADD. Additional research was conducted with another group of almost 500 families with children ages 5-18. These research studies focused (pun intended!) on inattentive ADD rather than the hyperactive type. There are some findings that point to a similar positive effect of GREEN with hyperactive type ADD kids, but further testing is needed.

When asked by ADDitude magazine frequent contributor Carl Sherman, Ph.D. if perhaps it’s the types of activities typically done outdoors that promotes the attentional functioning benefits, Dr. Kuo responded,”I don’t think so. We compared the same activities in all three settings — for instance, you can play basketball indoors, in an asphalt schoolyard, or in a park — and there was a clear advantage to the most natural environment.” Maybe our parents were right afterall when they told us to, “Just go out and play!” "

My thanks to Debbie for bringing to light what my body knew naturally.  To read the rest of the article, or to see the rest of Debbie's blog, here is a link:

All visuals from Debbie's blog, Attention Debbie Dear (ADD)

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