Dr. Penner’s wife made this spectacular (and delicious!) gold medal cake in celebration of Josh’s successful race.

As I rounded a bend near mile 8 of the Whidbey Half Marathon, the city of Oak Harbor came into full view.  The sun glistened on the water, and the smooth arc of coastline led my eyes up to the wooded hills of Whidbey Island, and the Olympic Mountains standing majestically beyond.  My breath caught for a moment, then I exhaled deeply.  There was more in that breath than just oxygen and carbon dioxide.  I was breathing out stress.  I was unwinding, and I could feel balance being restored in my mind and body. 

How often do you give yourself a chance to do that?  When you get wound up tighter and tighter by your busy city life, what unwinds you? 

I have an idea.  Get out of your man-made environment (especially concrete) and get into nature.  Swim in it, run in it, climb on it!  

You don’t even have to 


 anything if you don’t want to: studies show that if you simply 


 at nature you will begin to relax.  Scientists at Essex university showed that spending as little as five minutes in a green space cuts stress.  Other studies have shown that those with access to countryside are less likely to have heart disease or strokes.

One of the most stress inducing things you can look at is concrete.

One of the most relaxing things you can look at are trees. 

If you live in the city you might want to consider getting out of your concrete surroundings every once in a while.  Find some trees, water, and mountains to enjoy.  

And if you don’t want to hike, swim, or run, you can just look.  That’s OK, too. 

In health,

Josh Penner, D.C.