The Benefits of the Outdoors, Nature and Green Space for People with Epilepsy

The outdoors, nature and green space have many benefits for all people, including:

  • Physical Health Benefits
    • Decreasing blood pressure
    • Reducing the risk of cancer
    • Increasing the uptake of vitamin D
    • Increasing exercise
    • Improving sleep
    • Increased immunity and immune function
  • Mental Well-Being Benefits
    • Increasing memory, concentration and focus
    • Reducing stress
    • Decreasing fatigue
    • Reducing depression and anxiety
    • Improving happiness and overall mood
    • Increasing connection with the community
    • Increasing creativity and problem-solving skills

As we can see from the above, some of these benefits may also play a role in seizure control.

This is why, if you are able to, you should try to get outdoors as much as possible. Please see below for some of our ideas:

  • Spend outdoor time in your backyard if you have one
  • Do some gardening in your yard
  • Take a walk around your neighborhood
  • Ride your bike, scooter or skateboard in a local park
  • Do activities outdoors like stretching, yoga or sports
  • Do chalk art on your driveway or sidewalk
  • Instead of being indoors for games like I Spy, storytelling, etc. you can try doing them outdoors

You should try to stay safe while outdoors as everyone experiences risks while outdoors and this only increases for people living with epilepsy. You can check out resources on Seizures and Your Safety and on Medical Identification and Safety Devices for more information. Here are some safety tips for you:

  • You should always go outdoors with someone in your household who knows what to do if you have a seizure
  • You may choose to wear a medical ID bracelet so that others around you are aware that you have epilepsy should you have a seizure
  • You can carry a wallet card that has information about seizure first aid as well as other pertinent information, such as emergency contacts, your medications, and their doses, etc.
  • You can wear a seizure detection device so that your caregiver will be notified should you have a seizure while you are outdoors
  • Be sure to wear proper safety gear with whatever outdoor activity you choose to do
  • Take frequent breaks, stay hydrated and avoid overexertion

Additionally, with whatever activities you choose to do outdoors, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, be sure to practice physical distancing by staying at least 2 meters (6 feet) apart from others and practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after any time spent outdoors. You may also choose to bring hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes with you to use on the go, if needed.

We hope that, as the weather starts to become nicer, everyone reaps the benefits of the outdoors, nature and green space!

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