Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Now out!

As I mentioned a while back, I recently wrote an article about the importance of getting outside into biologically diverse areas in terms of keeping us healthy--specifically helping to prevent asthma and allergies.

It's now out: Some dirt won't hurt, and I'm really excited about it. It was incredible to interview the scientists whose work is uncovering the links between health and microbial exposure. We need to expose ourselves to plants, dirt, and the microbes found in both. This is particularly true of small children, whose immune systems are still developing.

Photo by Ryan Somma

What to do if you don't live on a farm or out in the country? One way to gain exposure to biodiversity is through green roofs and living walls on buildings right there in the city. Check out more in the July/August issue of ASK (arts and sciences for kids) magazine--my article "It's a Jungle Up There" covers how they're built and the many benefits that come from their construction.

But even without a jungle in the city, you can benefit from exposure to natural areas. Visit a park and get back to nature, but don't just look at the view. Get dirty. You'll boost your immune response while lowering stress. What could be better?


  1. I teach tai chi and qigong. One of the main things I recommend to my students is that while the weather is warm, they should get outside and practice with bare feet on the earth. The idea is that it's much easier to feel qi this way, but now I can give them another reason: good bacterial exposure!

    1. Yes! And I need to start doing tai chi outside with bare feet.