Thursday, March 7, 2013

Reason No. 17 to hike with children: Dirt equals happy kids

Dirt - it does a body good.
Need another good reason to take children hiking? Try this: Dirt makes kids happy. Research suggests that mice exposed to a bacteria found in dirt saw elevated levels of serotonin, “the happy brain chemical,” according to an article in a 2007 edition of Neuroscience. Common antidepressants work by increasing this brain chemical. Supporting the Bristol University research, lung cancer patients exposed to this bacterium, Mycobacterium vaccae, reported improved quality of life. So if you want happy kids, get them outside so they can breathe in some dirt!

Read more about day hiking with children in my Hikes with Tykes guidebooks.