When I was a child I loved to play in the dirt.  In fact, I even remember eating a little bit of it, and guess what?   I thought it was delicious!

That’s right baby, get dirty!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what you are thinking: how disgusting!  I can’t believe she did that let alone is announcing to the world that she enjoyed the taste of dirt.

Well, put away your judgements and misplaced disgust because dirt is good for you.  That’s right.  Over the last couple of years, studies have shown that greater exposure to natural elements like dirt, pollen, animal fur, and even animal feces have numerous health benefits, here are just a few:

1.  Better mood:

There are types of bacteria naturally found in soil which activate the production of serotonin, a natural antidepressant.  My momma always said I was a happy baby.

2.  Stronger immune system:

People who are exposed to greater biodiversity have more resilient immune systems.  Translation:  By spending more time in the outdoors and exposing yourself to a variety of plants, animals, bacteria and microbes your body will have more practice identifying between the really bad bugs and harmless ones.

3.  Less inflammation:

Exposure to a variety of microbes early in life has also been linked to decreased allergies, autoimmune diseases, asthma and other common chronic diseases associated with inflammation such as heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimers.

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Leslie St. Louis, professional obstacle course racer and her daughter getting dirty at the Spartan kids course.

So what are you waiting for?  Get outside, get your kids outside!  Climb trees and roll in the grass.  Put away that hand sanitizer and clorox wipes and don’t be afraid to get dirty.   And if your kids eat a little dirt, don’t freak out, remember that it’s good for them.

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 Lauren Jones is a mother of 2 boys who also love to play in the dirt and aspiring elite obstacle racer

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