Health Advice



A connection with nature nurtures you, body and spirit

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

Some celebs put their money where their mouth is when it comes to protecting Mother Nature. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has focused on the health of oceans, rainforests and Antarctica and access to clean water since 1998. That's a health-boost for all of us.

Plants, herbs and minerals have the power to protect and heal, and simply being "in nature" can transform a person's physical and emotional well-being by lowering stress and improving cognition. Unfortunately, what one naturalist calls "nature deficit disorder" is a growing problem for urban kids and adults. Only 50% of the public say they've taken a hike in a natural setting in the past year, according to Pew Research. That's just one time in one year.

What's needed for optimal benefit? Three or four times a week, you need to work in a garden or yard, stroll in a park, bike by a river, gaze at the sky and birds, marvel at the weather. Every day is even better, according to Texas A&M's Center for Health & Nature. Research backs that up: A 2019 study in Current Directions in Psychological Science found that being able to access nature improves cognitive flexibility, working memory and focus. But even bringing green plants into your home or office has been shown to help reduce your stress response.

So find a park to perch in or a trail to wander down, cultivate a windowsill garden, and consider taking your workout outdoors. Every mile and smile makes your ActualAge younger; discover yours at


Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. Check out his latest, "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow," and find out more at Email your health and wellness questions to Dr. Mike at

(c)2023 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2023 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.




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