Everywhere in nature, we see organisms and even ecosystems relying on bacteria to maintain stability and health.
Bacteria are integral to balance. Everywhere in nature, we see organisms and even ecosystems relying on bacteria to maintain stability and health. Check out the weirdly fascinating anglerfish, which relies on bioluminescent bacteria to help it lure in prey and in return provides a bacterial home. We see these intensely interdependent relationships in so many places. Read our blog posts, Biome 101 and Advanced Microbiome: Biome 225 to learn more about the biome basics.
In Workout Your Microbiome, we explored the concept that physical activity might have an impact on the diversity of your microbiome. Studies done on the microbiome of the Irish national rugby team point towards the possibility that working out can help your gut in more ways than one.
The focus on physical activity certainly seems to be increasing in modern media; scroll through your Facebook newsfeed and you're almost guaranteed to see some pictures of friends running a 5k, trying CrossFit or spinning, dangling from monkey bars in obstacle course races, and - what we're most intrigued by - going on mud runs. People are getting outside and getting dirty (on purpose),and having fun while doing it.
While there have been some incidents of health problems associated with these races (flesh eating bacteria are not good bacteria), if your outdoor activities are planned thoughtfully, spending time outside can be great for your health.
Bring your kids
The world outside of our pristine houses is home to innumerable bacteria. Exposing ourselves to these bacteria boosts our microbiomes, which is even more important at a young age. Children begin developing their microbial communities even at birth, and the development continues as they mature.
A recent study by Dr. Shetreat-Klein, a pediatric neurologist, demonstrates that children who are exposed to less sterile environments - like the great outdoors - actually have fewer infections. Children who grow up spending time in nature are even less likely to develop issues like asthma and allergies.
Summer is right around the corner, and it's prime time to get outside and play :) Let your kids play around in the dirt (or sand - we like beaches too) and join in!