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Celebrate “Great Outdoors” Month with Arizona River Runners




It’s official. Studies show that Americans are suffering from “nature-deficit disorder” and the cure is to enjoy the great outdoors. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, children between the ages of 8 and 18 are spending seven and a half hours a day using electronic media indoors. Adults find themselves moving from the computer screen at work to their smart phone to laptop to television throughout the course of their waking hours. The sedentary lifestyle Americans have adopted, increasingly more connected to electronics and less connected to the natural world, has been the focus of a number of health-related studies in recent years, and the news isn’t good.


These habits have been linked to obesity in children and adults, high blood pressure, heart disease, asthma and diabetes, as well as stress, attention deficit disorder and vitamin D deficiency. Studies also show that Americans’ participation in nature-based activities such as camping and fishing has dropped 18 to 25 percent since peak levels in the late 1980s. The health consequences of our environmental disconnect seem to have reached epidemic proportions, prompting President Obama to create The Great Outdoors Initiative, which names June as “Great Outdoors Month”.


Nearly five million people will venture outdoors to view the Grand Canyon this summer; only 5 percent of visitors experience it from a vantage point below the rim. This is one of the reasons a Colorado River rafting trip through the Grand Canyon is such a unique experience. Arizona River Runners’ guides have seen firsthand the restorative effects of being out in nature on Grand Canyon whitewater rafting trips. They are pros at helping trip participants get the most out of their journey and reconnect with the outdoors in one of the most spectacular natural settings in the world. As one river guest put it, “This is the best vacation I’ve ever had. Even my 12 year old daughter came back saying she felt different – she realized that much of what concerned her in life was really insignificant. I loved having no contact with the outside world, no electricity, nothing to do but enjoy the beauty and relate with others - the best of what life has to offer that we so often overlook.”  

Being outdoors isn’t merely overlooked, according to the National Wildlife Federation.  Their “Be Out There” campaign is designed to “return to the nation’s children what they don’t even know they’ve lost; their connection to the natural world.” The Federation has built the program on findings from studies that show that children who spend time outdoors have enhanced fitness levels, higher levels of vitamin D, reduced stress, higher scores on standardized tests and improved critical thinking skills.


This summer, acknowledge “Great Outdoors Month” in a truly memorable way and do something great for your kids and yourself - take a whitewater rafting trip in the Grand Canyon and reconnect with nature and each other. Arizona River Runners offers exceptional family rafting trips and group celebrations, with special pricing on 6, 7, and 8 day motorized trips for groups of 10 or more. Days on the river allow you to reconnect as you share excitement, adventure and relaxation with your family and friends. Besides whitewater rafting trips being just plain fun and a great adventure, they provide compelling learning experiences that children build on, along with a cure for “nature-deficit disorder”. 


For information: Arizona River Runners.  

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