Out and about on a pretty day

This weekend, I walked (strolled) around my Chicago neighborhood, Hyde Park.  I attended a concert at the Hyde Park Art Center, then walked to the Hyde Park Art Fair.  The President, who lived in the neighborhood, was walking around it the other day (with a ton of security!)

Walking was very different from driving.  It kept me much more aware of my surroundings.  Buildings I passed reminded me of people and long-ago events.  I saw several people that I’d not seen in years.  I walked through parks and enjoyed city-style “nature.”

A recent article in the WSJ extols the benefits of getting outside and engaging in physical activity:

According to the latest research, untamed landscapes have a restorative effect, calming our frazzled nerves and refreshing the tired cortex. After a brief exposure to the outdoors, people are more creative, happier and better able to focus. If there were a pill that delivered these same results, we’d all be popping it.

To measure the mental benefits of hiking in the middle of nowhere, Dr. Atchley gave 60 backpackers a standard test of creativity before they hit the trail. She gave the same test to a different group of hikers four days into their journey.

The results were surprising: The hikers in the midst of nature showed a nearly 50% increase in performance on the test of creativity, and the effect held across all age groups.

So, get together with your family and loved ones and walk around!



Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See vascularanesthesia.com for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.


  1. Dear friend,I continue visiting your site. I did last January, a bariatric surgery,as I was with 41 IMC,DIABETHIS AND HYPERTENSION.Now ,at the moment i lost 24 kg , no diabethis anymore neither hypertension.I walk 5 times a week.And every day I change the way of eating.Now i think. Saudades from Brazil

  2. Wonderful! Glad to hear from you.

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