Michael Easter wrote an article for Men’s Health titled The ’20-5-3′ Rule Prescribes How Much Time to Spend Outside.

« Americans today spend 92 percent of their time indoors, and their physical and mental health are suffering. Use this three-number formula to make yourself stronger and happier.  »

The 20-5-3 rule:

  • 20 Minutes: “That’s the amount of time you should spend outside in nature, like a neighborhood park, three times a week.”
  • 5 Hours: “The minimum length of time each month you should spend in semi-wild nature, like a forested state park.”
  • 3 Days: “This is the top of the pyramid. Three is the number of days you should spend each year off the grid in nature, camping or renting a cabin (with friends or solo).”

« In nature, our brains enter a mode called “soft fascination.” Hopman described it as a mindfulness-like state that restores and builds the resources you need to think, create, process information, and execute tasks. It’s mindfulness without the meditation. A short daily nature walk—or even a walk down a tree-lined street—is a great option for people who aren’t keen on sitting and focusing on their breath. But turn off your phone—alerts from it can kick you out of soft-
fascination mode. »

« Nature has these effects on the mind and body because it stimulates and soothes us in unusual and unique ways. For instance, in nature you are engulfed in fractals, suggested Hopman. Fractals are complex patterns that repeat over and over in different sizes and scales and make up the design of the universe. Think: trees (big branch to smaller branch to smaller branch and so on), river systems (big river to smaller river to stream and so on), mountain ranges, clouds, seashells. »

Michael Easter is the author of The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort To Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self.

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