It’s a whole new game
Humanity is now in the throes of a whole new ballgame played with a strict set of rules and survival as the end-game. Think of it as “viral dodge ball.” This is a game of the survival of the fittest. In the midst of a global pandemic, the healthiest among us have the greatest chance of survival.

Apart from keeping our distance from others and copious hand washing, the best defense anyone has is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Ample sleep, proper nutrition and regular exercise are more critical now than ever in our battle against an invisible enemy.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the topsy-turvey and cloistered world of pandemic paralysis is the theme of this blog. I am personally challenging myself not only to a regimen of cleanliness and distancing, but also to getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night, eating healthy food and exercising daily outside in Nature. For all who are able (privileged) to do so, I urge you to form or maintain a similar habit. We’ll benefit not only ourselves, but also the common good.

Sleep and our immune system
Although we spend a third of our life in slumber, we under appreciate the role that sleep plays in our overall health. While you are still awake, take a moment to read this article, How Sleep Affects Your Immunity. In the game of viral dodge ball, a healthy immune system is key to keeping us in the game.

You are what you eat
The old axiom, “you are what you eat,” is a reminder that to a greater extent than we think, our diet affects our health either positively or negatively. Our immune system performs best when nourished daily on the proper foods. Karen Pullen has an article on page 6 of the March Chatham County Line titled Going Plant-based for Your Health: Ten Ways to Get There.” Give it a look, and you’ll also find a recipe for creamy golden vegetable soup.

My neighbor, Tim Keim, informs me that he will be writing an article for the April issue of the Chatham County Line about building up our immune system to ward off disease. You can find the digital copy of each Chatham County Line at

Take a hike… preferably into the woods
Walking is one of the simplest and better things we can do to boost our immune system and our overall health. And hiking in the woods/forest is the best of all. To help prepare yourself to get the most of your time in the woods, I refer you to a few sage articles:

  • Joe Jacobs, an avid outdoors-man, writes about the “Wisdom of Trees” on page 2 of the March issue of the Chatham County Line.
  • From the David Suzuki Foundation comes an article, “Healthy forests mean healthy people.”
  • Although this one isn’t specific to hiking in the woods, I want to give a shout-out to my friend, Joelle Brummit-Yale, whose article about taking Christian education out-of-doors appeared in the recent edition of The Presbyterian OUTLOOK. In it you’ll see some photos of where kids found God in Nature.

I find signs of the Creator up and down and all around whenever I hike the forests and woodlands of Chatham County. One of the great joys in life is being able to capture the wonders of nature through digital photography. I also enjoy sharing images in my Naturally Chatham photo column which appears on the back page of each issue of the Chatham County Line. Additionally I produce a Naturally Chatham photo calendar annually as a fund raiser for Grand Trees of Chatham.

This morning after a good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast I ventured into the woods along the banks of the Haw River to discover what might be blooming. I’ll share just a bit of what I found. [Hint: Click on image to go full size.] Peace and good health!