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Ep. 85 Neurological Benefits of the Outdoors with Itzel Fernández Camacho, M.D.

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We know the outdoors feels good, but did you know it’s actually wiring and re-wiring our brains too? Itzel Fernandez Camacho, M.D. is here to tell us all about it!

Itzel Fernandez Camacho is a mom of two, a lifelong learner, and M.D. She previously worked in pediatric rehabilitation, and she considers the outdoors to be the perfect environment to stimulate gross and fine motor skills, coordination, and sees nature as a sensory playground where children have endless opportunities to improve their neurodevelopment. Now, if that’s not a reason to get outside…!

She grew up in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. She is currently travelling 3 continents with her family. She enjoys hiking, camping, paddle boarding, walking barefoot, climbing trees, swimming in the ocean, and exploring new cultures.

In Med school, Itzel noticed that they didn’t teach anything about the outdoors. After kids, she thought that rehabilitation should include the outdoors!!

Our Brains in the Outdoors: 

  • Even just looking outdoors or having live plants – your senses are all stimulated
  • Allows for better concentration, focus, and the ability to memorize better!
  • Improves behaviour, happiness, and reduces anxiety and depression
  • Grey matter in brain positively impacted – creating new connections, because the brain is very plastic, especially in the first 3 years of life
  • Can prevent metabolic disease, help cardiovascular health, lower ADHD symptoms
  • Exposes you to vitamins that help with bone and muscle growth – giving our children a healthier life!!
  • Risky play – gets them to make decisions together, work on concentration, and work on physical ability

We are meant to be outdoors. We need to find ways to be exposed to the outdoors every day, and the more time we can.  

Grounding in All Seasons with Dr. Laura Koniver episode –

Give children time to explore. Don’t rush them. Let them choose what they love. Try not to direct and organize too  much

Book Series Recommendation [on Audio Book]: The Expeditioners

Follow on IG: @tribupassport


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Today’s Host: @adriannaadventures & @laurenrodycheberle from @kidswhoexplore
Production: @kpmediaproductions. Music: @michaelferraro_music