Arizona river runners guide children to back to nature

The connection between nature and children is fast diminishing; resulting in a “nature-deprived” youth. Outdoor activities have been replaced with “technological toys.” Arizona River Runners offers family rafting trips to get back to nature.

We always knew that family trips away from the bustle and deadlines of everyday life made us feel good. Now there is evidence about how much getting out in nature truly helps us through increased mental health and psychological development in a variety of areas. Relaxation and stress relief, decreased mental fatigue, increased mental clarity, and increased energy are a few positive results of what nature can offer us. Arizona River Runners whitewater rafting trips provides opportunities for children and their families to reconnect with nature.

The World Health Organisation defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not just the absence of disease. Good health is a delicate balance of physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual and social health.” More than 100 research studies have shown that outdoor recreation reduces stress. John Burroughs, naturalist and writer (1837-1921) stated “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and have my senses put in order.” Whitewater rafting through the Grand Canyon is a “grand” way of balancing health, home and family. Grand Canyon rafting trips are one way of having your senses “put in order.”

This intangible connection of nature with our inner selves does something to our minds and bodies that create a balance and centring so crucial in our lives. This crucial element is shrinking with what is now termed today’s “nature–deprived youth culture” in which many families have replaced outdoor activities with TV’s, X-boxes, texting, MP3 players, and digital computer games. We need to get outside, enjoy the outdoors, and be together as a family. One way to do this is to take a Grand Canyon adventure rafting the Colorado River. Family rafting trips encourage community, communication and inspiration.

Being in the canyon is so much different from being at the Grand Canyon; your appreciation of, and your desire to protect nature will skyrocket. The flora and fauna, camping under a blanket of stars, shooting the rapids on a Colorado River trip will amaze you; rejuvenate you – body and soul.

Richard Louv, author of national best-seller Last Child in the Woods, who coined the phrase ‘nature deficit disorder’ says “Time in nature is not leisure time; it’s an essential investment in our children’s health. Unlike TV, nature doesn’t steal time, it amplifies it. It inspires creativity by demanding visualization and the full use of senses.”

In recent years, health care providers are recognizing that nature can be therapeutic in treating attention deficit disorder and depression. A recent study by American Institutes for Research has evidence that students who participate in outdoor science programs improved their test scores by 27 percent as well as improvement in conflict resolution skills and cooperation; President Obama is strongly behind the outdoor initiative. The National Wildlife Federation started “Be Out There” a public education campaign to encourage a daily green hour of unstructured out- of- door playtime for children. Their goal “is to return to the nation’s children what they don’t even know they’ve lost; their connection to the natural world.” A recent New York Times article provides additional information about what they call “outdoor deprivation disorder.”

The family rafting trips that Arizona River Runners offers in Grand Canyon National Park provide some health benefits. Research has cited evidence that children who are taken on a Grand Canyon raft trip will likely gain in:
• Hardiness- appreciation of challenge as opportunity
• Improved self-esteem and self-confidence by successfully meeting challenges (Kaplan & Kaplan)
• Respect and appreciation for nature
• Problem-solving ability
• Self-discipline
• Broader sense of community

Positive effects of nature are found to be strongest in children ages 6-12 (middle childhood). Besides whitewater rafting trips being just plain fun and a great adventure, they provide compelling learning experiences that children build on as they develop their view of themselves and the world. A ten year research program studying the impact of wilderness experience shows that those who participate in outdoor/wilderness adventures have also been affected long term as seeing their lives as less cluttered and more focused on what they consider valuable. (Janet Talbot & Stephen Kaplan: Psychological Laboratories, University of Michigan).

Frank Lloyd Wright, acclaimed architect and philosopher, advised “study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” No matter what you carry home within from a whitewater rafting trip with Arizona River Runners, or other outdoor adventure, it will undoubtedly be more valuable than any souvenir you could take home in a suitcase or place on a shelf. For more information visit www.raftarizona.com.

Fifth of holidaymakers swap summer holiday to Easter 2011

New research by the UK’s online independent travel agent sunshine.co.uk has revealed that a fifth of holidaymakers have swapped their main 2011 holiday from summer to Easter this year. The majority admitted to doing so in order to take advantage of the two consecutive four day weekends, provided by Easter and the Royal Wedding.

The results of a new study, have shown that the 2011 travel plans of British holidaymakers have been somewhat affected by the extra bank holiday this Easter; added to the calendar thanks to the impending Royal wedding.

sunshine.co.uk conducted the research in order to discover more about holidaymakers’ plans for 2011, after noticing a rise in bookings for Easter breaks, when compared to the same time last year. 1,825 British holidaymakers were subsequently polled, each asked questions surrounding their travel plans for this year.

Just over half, 54%, of those taking part had already booked a holiday for 2011, whilst 6% had already been on a trip abroad this year. A further quarter, 24%, of respondents were planning to book a 2011 holiday, whilst the remaining respondents had no plans to travel abroad this year.

Of those who had already booked a holiday, 21% claimed to have swapped their usual summer break for an Easter-time holiday this year. When asked why they had done so, 89% explained that it was in order to take advantage of the longer May bank holiday made available by the Royal wedding in April, meaning that less time would be required off work for a longer break.

In contrast, 7% of those who had booked an Easter break instead of one in summer claimed it was in order to ‘get a better deal.’

A further third, 29%, of total respondents said that they had, or planned, to book time off work in April to take advantage of the consecutive 4 day Bank Holiday weekends, whilst 3% of respondents admitted that they thought the extra Bank Holiday granted by David Cameron was ‘unnecessary.’

Online travel agency sunshine.co.uk has noticed a 41% increase in holiday bookings over Easter 2011 when compared to the same time last year, suggesting that people are opting for an earlier break to take advantage of the bank holidays.

Chris Brown, co-founder of sunshine.co.uk, commented on the findings: “People would be wise to take advantage of the long break on offer from the extra Bank Holiday this year. By taking just several days holiday, you can enjoy about 10 days off work and it’s not often you can do that!

“Many people have evidently clicked on to the idea and are going to be jetting off for sun, sea and sand instead of sticking around for the Royal wedding. We have some fantastic last minute deals for those wishing to spend Easter abroad, but we’d recommend people get in there fast and book the time off, before everyone else in the office leaves you holding the fort!”

Half of us dont count UK breaks ‘proper’ holidays?

We all enjoy going abroad on holiday- a break in the UK doesn’t quite cut it compared to a week of sun, sea and sand. It would seem that half of you agree, as our latest study here at sunshine.co.uk has found that 52% of Brits don’t view UK breaks as ‘proper holidays’

We polled a sample of 1,563 holiday makers over the age of 18 to find out Britons’ attitudes towards holidaying in the UK, compared to abroad.

95% of you said that a holiday abroad was their favourite break.

74% of the people polled said that they had been on a holiday in the UK and one abroad, but the vast majority preferred holidaying overseas.

Many of you seem to think that a holiday in the UK is pointless and 21% said that they would never even consider taking a ‘staycation’.

The main reason against staying home to holiday was the price

55% of you feel that holidays abroad are better value than staying in the UK and a third of you blame the weather for making you want to take a break abroad instead.

1 in 10 of you said you didn’t feel rested when you came home from a trip in the UK and 17% admitted that they hadn’t enjoyed their UK holiday at all.

In an aim to discover the cost difference between UK holidays and vacations abroad, 62% of you said it was the holiday at home that left them more out of pocket.

You should research your holiday fully before you book

Holidays in the UK can be more expensive, but it can be nice to not have to worry about the cost of flights and airport transfers, which is why some people do choose to holiday at home.

However, holidays abroad can be a much more exciting experience and the weather abroad is something the UK often fails to compete with.