Not only is it simple, energizing and free, but walking also has positive impacts on global health. The Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research found that “walking three miles (something like five kilometres) a day, five days a week, reduces women’s risk of heart disease by up to 18 percent”.
I also learned that a supervised programme of exercise, a walking programme for instance, can be equally as effective as antidepressants in treating mild to moderate depression. Among a group of general practiciens from UK participating to a study for the Mental Health Foundation, 93 per cent admit prescribing drugs because a lack of alternatives, while 78 per cent believed that an alternative treatment might have been more appropriate. One of these alternative treatments is called “ecotherapy”.
Ecotherapy boosts our mental wellbeing. Whether it’s a horticultural development programme supervised by a therapist or a simple walk in the park, being outdoors and being active is proven to benefit our mental health. Results of two studies conducted by Essex University revealed that 71 per cent reported decreased levels of depression after a green walk, while 22 per cent felt their depression increased after walking in an indoor shopping centre.
Spa Eastman never hesitates to use the great outdoors as its favourite “green gym”. Be it for an aqua-gym session in the outdoor pool during the summer, a yoga class by the pond or one of the 3 daily walks, there are plenty occasions to enjoy the essence of what is now being called “ecotherapy”. The numerous hiking trails surrounding Spa Eastman will be the perfect décor of a special weekend this spring: “A step towards Compostelle“. Special guest speaker Luc Desbiens will share tips and tricks to appreciate long walks and will share the spirit of Compostelle, this thousand year old pilgrimage.
Anti-stress walk, given each and every day since Spa Eastman’s opening 30 years ago, is another enchanting way to enjoy a quiet walk. Created by owner Jocelyna Dubuc, this meditative walk always gives me that odd feeling that I’m “this close” to swallow the entire scenery, just by breathing Eastman’s air.
It feels so good that… I’m going there right away!
Seriously, I’m really leaving tomorrow morning for a few days at Spa Eastman. I’ll give a try to the 30th anniversary package, the initiation to a cure.
And I’ll tell you all about it when I return!
Cardiovascular Health Centre
Up and running, the Mental Health Foundation
Ecotherapy, the green agenda for mental health