The Goal of the Stroll

The house we grew up in backed onto this amazing park with a soccer field and my elementary school. We had this secret door through the big gate that would open up into a world of imagination, play and adventure. I have so many childhood memories that involve friends and cousins and running out through the gate to the park.

The parks and the mature trees and the friendly neighbours are what I love so much about living in my neck of the woods. I love asking my daughters about which park they want to go to and they yell “the purple park!”

What’s even better is that there are amazing health benefits from getting outside and connecting with your neighbours. As a naturopathic doctor who works with moms, babies and kids, I love sharing about all the great reasons why it’s great to get outside and chat with your neighbours.

Park Perks

Being outside in nature just makes us feel good and this is a huge area of new research because of how much time we spend indoors and in front of tech toys like iPads, phones and TV.

Being surrounded by trees, forests and outdoor spaces has numerous health benefits for you and your kids. These include:

  • Improved short-term memory
  • Restored mental energy
  • Stress-relief
  • Lower levels of inflammation
  • Better vision
  • Improved concentration
  • Sharper thinking and creativity
  • Immune system boosts
  • Improved mental health

So, just being outside among the trees of your neighbourhood can really make you feel good.

Neighbourhood Networking

The number of neighbours who we actually know has changed over the years. We spend more time indoors and the nightly news gives us lots of reasons why we should hide out at home.

However, being with others is extremely important to our health. Having a social network helps with longevity. There was a Harvard study of graduates throughout their lifespans and they found that strong relationships are the strongest predictor of life satisfaction.

A lack of social ties is associated with depression and later-life cognitive decline as well as increased mortality. This increase in mortality risk is roughly comparable to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day. So having strong relationships is really important!

Connecting with others relieves harmful levels of stress, which can negatively affect coronary arteries, gut function, insulin regulation, and your immune system.

So, let’s get outside more, let’s start talking to our neighbours and forming those relationships with each other, we’ll feel better for it.

Dr. Whitney Young, ND

Dr. Whitney is a Naturopathic Doctor and Super Baby Coach who has a special focus on fertility, pregnancy and children’s health. She is the founder of Guiltless Grace – an online community for moms who want to ditch the Mommy Guilt!

Parents sucking pacifiers lowers allergy development

A new study published in June 2013 found that parents who sucked on their babies pacifiers to clean them lowered the incidence of allergy development and eczema. The microbes in parents saliva were transferred to the baby which improved their immunity. So, the next step I believe is to make sure the parent’s immune system is in good shape. That is something we can help with too. Now that you know that you should suck on your baby’s soother/pacifier before putting it back in their mouth. Next, how do you know if your baby is ready for solids? Read about it here

Sucking on your baby's pacifier before they do decreases allergies and asthma

Sucking on your baby’s pacifier before they do decreases allergies and asthma


Deep Immune by St Francis

This is a product that I have used for 10 years.  I have seen people with the weakest of systems make complete turnarounds with this product.

Just recently, I had a patient who’s white cell count was dropping.  Each time we tested the blood, about every six months, it would drop a little further.

Last time, I asked this patient to start taking Deep Immune.  Although the patient wasn’t catching colds, the blood levels were clearly showing an immune deficiency.

The blood work came back this time within normal limits.  White blood cell count all good.

I love my job 🙂


Mindfulness and Immune function

Not only does Mindful Based Stress Reduction help reduce anxiety, but it increases immune function, and decreases inflammation too!  Attitude is everything.

“Twenty-four participants (28-72 years) were enrolled in an 8-week MBSR program. There were significant improvements in anxiety and overall distress across multiple domains of quality of life versus baseline. The patients who reported improvement in mental well-being also showed increased natural killer activity and lower C-reactive protein. However, the patients who reported no improvement showed no change in natural killer cell activity. ”

Published in J Altern Complement Med. 2010 May;16(5):531-8.