Article By Ashley Rayner -

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that vacations are good for us—after all, taking time for ourselves to discover new places, to engage in activities we enjoy and even just to spend quality time with family and friends all seem like great things to do and pleasant ways to spend our time. But vacations have some other surprising health benefits that you may not know about. These 8 benefits show why taking even just a short vacation is good for you and everyone around you (including your co-workers!).

8. Vacations Decrease Stress
We’ll start with the obvious: taking a vacation is a great way to bust stress, a view supported by multiple studies and the American Psychological Association. The day-to-day grind of our hectic lives can leave us feeling overwhelmed, like we have too much to do and too little time. Often, we have competing demands: maybe there’s a big deadline at work that’s fast approaching, but you need to make time to care for a relative or child. Evenings and weekends sometimes aren’t enough time to unwind. Taking a vacation gives us more space and time for ourselves, to do the things we like to do and things we want to do. It allows us to get away from, say, the co-worker we don’t like or to forget about doing the laundry. Even though it’s a temporary escape, taking the time off can have a huge effect on our stress levels.

7. Your Health Will Improve

Several studies have shown links between vacation time and decreased risk of particular disorders and diseases. In the landmark Framingham Heart Study, taking regular vacation time was linked to a lower risk of heart disease, an outcome that was repeated in other studies, like the National Institutes of Health’s Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial for the Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease. While it’s hard to say if the vacation itself lowered the risk (perhaps by lowering stress levels) or if taking vacation time is just a habit of people who live lower-risk lifestyles, regular vacation time was definitely implicated in improved cardiovascular health. People who took at least 1 week of vacation each year were 30% less likely to take a heart attack than their colleagues who skipped vacation time. So book your getaway—it’s good for your heart.

6. Relationships Grow Stronger

It’s no secret that the key to successful relationships is spending time with other people. Unfortunately, our personal ties often take a backseat to professional pursuits. Working too much can not only put you under stress but also cause your relationships to suffer, especially if you start cutting people off, turning down invites or bringing stress into your interactions with friends and loved ones. A vacation allows us time to reconnect with the people we actually want to have in our lives. Traveling is especially good for deepening bonds between people: vacations are quality time for relationships and shared experiences, good and bad, help bring people together. People with strong bonds tend to feel less stressed, are less susceptible to disease and are less prone to mental health issues such as depression.

5. You Mental Health Will be Better

Physical health improvement isn’t the only benefit of taking a vacation; mental health is also affected by whether or not people take vacation time. A study by the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin reported that women who took vacation time on a regular basis had a lower risk of depression. A study by the University of Pittsburgh’s Mind Body Center had similar findings. Again, multiple factors come into play—such as getting more Vitamin D by visiting a sun destination in the winter or simply allowing the body to recuperate—but there’s no denying vacation can lower the risk of mental disorders like depression and burnout. If your boss puts up a fuss about you taking time off, tell them you’re doing them a favor—depression-related losses in productivity cost employers around $79 billion every year.

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The Japanese practice of forst bathing is scientifically proven to be good for you. Until now we did not know just how good. Northern Minnesota is still in pristine condition with 100's of native tree species including Balsam fir. Black spruce. Eastern hemlock. Eastern red cedar (juniper) Eastern white pine. Jack pine. 

Northern white cedar. Red pine (Norway pine) and many more. We know trees help humans and other living things in many ways.

Among them, they:

  • remove carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) and other pollutants from the air
  • produce oxygen
  • provide food and shelter for wildlife
  • provide wood products
  • add beauty to the landscape
  • provide a pleasant environment for recreation
  • help reduce residential energy consumption by shading homes in summer and sheltering them from wind in winter
  • help protect streams and lakes by reducing runoff
  • reduce noise pollution by absorbing sound

From 2004 to 2012, Japanese officials spent about $4 million dollars studying the physiological and psychological effects of forest bathing, designating 48 therapy trails based on the results. Qing Li, a professor at Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, measured the activity of human natural killer (NK) cells in the immune system before and after exposure to the woods. These cells provide rapid responses to viral-infected cells and respond to tumor formation, and are associated with immune system health and cancer prevention. In a 2009 study Li’s subjects showed significant increases in NK cell activity in the week after a forest visit, and positive effects lasted a month following each weekend in the woods.

This is due to various essential oils, generally called phytoncide, found in wood, plants, and some fruit and vegetables, which trees emit to protect themselves from germs and insects. Forest air doesn’t just feel fresher and better—inhaling phytoncide seems to actually improve immune system function.

Experiments on forest bathing conducted by the Center for Environment, Health and Field Sciences in Japan’s Chiba University measured its physiological effects on 280 subjects in their early 20s. The team measured the subjects’ salivary cortisol (which increases with stress), blood pressure, pulse rate,

 and heart rate variability during a day in the city and compared those to the same biometrics taken during a day with a 30-minute forest visit. “Forest environments promote lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greater parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity than do city environments,” the study concluded.

In other words, being in nature made subjects, physiologically, less amped. The parasympathetic nerve system controls the body’s rest-and-digest system while the sympathetic nerve system governs fight-or-flight responses. Subjects were more rested and less inclined to stress after a forest bath.

Trees soothe the spirit too. A study on forest bathing’s psychological effects surveyed 498 healthy volunteers, twice i

n a forest and twice in control environments. The subjects showed significantly reduced hostility and depression scores, coupled with increased liveliness, after exposure to trees. “Accordingly,” the researchers wrote, “forest environments can be viewed as therapeutic landscapes.”

City dwellers can benefit from the effects of trees with just a visit to the park. Brief exposure to greenery in urban environments can relieve stress levels, and experts have recommended “doses of nature” as part of treatment of attention disorders in children. What all of this evidence suggests is we don’t seem to need a lot of exposure to gain from nature—but regular contact appears to improve our immune system function and our wellbeing.

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Canoes offer an easy, fun way of experiencing Lake Vermilion. Although designs and materials have been refined over the years, modern canoes still evoke memories of the functional boats used by Native Americans and early wilderness explorers.

Pehrson Lodge offers a large selection of watercraft for our guests. If you are considering buying a canoe



If you are looking for a highly detailed map of Lake Vermilion you have come to the right place. Click here for map sections. Each section offers special points of interest including hot fishing spots, dinning opportunities and more.

We are excited to announce that Cliff Langley, with Swiftwater Adventures will provide guided whitewater/nature rafting trips on the Vermilion river this season.  This will be a great addition to the outstading activites the Lake Vermilion area privides.  Please contact Cliff for more details.

(218) 451-3218!whitewater-rafting-vermillion/c1wv9

We are extremely excited to upgrade our Stand-up Paddle Board (SUP Board) fleet for the comming summer. We will be getting new boards from Isle ranging from youth to large adult size. these boards will be an upgrade fromour old fleet due to their epoxy construction and carbon paddles. The new boards will be stiffer and go throught the water at higher speeds with less effort. They will be ideal for loonger touring outings on Lake Vermilion. In addition, the carbon paddles are much higher performance than our previous paddles. Carbon is much lighter and stiffer than previous paddles.

Please take time to review the following article if you are interested in SUP Boarding. the information is great for beginners or as a refresher.

The Stand Up Paddle Boarding Boom!
One of the fastest growing watersport in the World, stand up paddle boarding is growing leaps and bounds. You can do it on any body of water from oceans, lakes, rivers and bays – even a swimming pool if it's big enough. It's a great full body core workout and is a whole new way to experience the water in the outdoors. People of all ages, skill levels, and experience can be up and riding in no time. There is even room to throw a small child or man's best friend on board.

Who Invented Stand up Paddle Boarding?
Maui surf legend Laird Hamilton was looking for a way to cross train for big waves in the early 90's. He grabbed a canoe paddle and his longest surfboard and found paddling while upright to be a fantastic workout. Many mistakenly believe he invented the sport of paddle boarding however its original roots date back over thousands of years to ancient Hawaiian, Peruvian and African culture. All 3 cultures had some form of paddle boarding however the Hawaiians are given the credit as the first to actually surf waves with a paddle for actual sport and had a word to describe surfing with a paddle - Hoe He'e nalu.

Standup Paddle Board Equipment
Here are all the items you need to get out on the water paddling

  1. Stand Up Paddle board - Paddleboards come in all shapes and sizes. The most common construction method is epoxy and fiberglass wrapped around an EPS foam core with one or several fins to help the board track in the water. A standup paddle board is much thicker than your average surfboard. Paddle boards typically range from 8'-12' in length, 28" – 32" wide, and 4" – 5" thick. If you're just starting out the best thing to do is select a wider, longer, thicker board. This type will offer the greatest stability to learn the paddleboard basics on a flat body of water. As you gain experience you can progress to a much smaller board.
  2. Paddle - Stand Up Paddles come in a variety of constructions from plastic, aluminum, wood, and carbon fiber with a variety of handle, blade and shaft shapes. The general rule is a paddle used with your paddleboard should always be 6 – 10" above the height of the paddler. Size your paddle on the longer side for flat water use and the shorter side for use in the surf. The blade is typically bent at a slight angle to the shaft to allow for more forward reach when taking a stroke.
  3. Leash - A leash keeps your paddle board attached to you with a Velcro strap around your ankle (or calf) that is attached to the paddleboard. Leashes come in a variety of sizes and the general rule is to use a leash around the same size or slightly smaller than your board. In the event of a fall currents and winds can quickly sweep your paddle board away from you and in the ocean your board becomes a lethal weapon when carried with the force of an ocean wave. Always remember to use your leash.
  4. Traction Pad – Most paddle boards come equipped with a traction pad preinstalled on the deck of the board. The traction pad is a soft layer of EVA foam typically grooved to provide grip and a soft cushion for the feet much like the sole of a shoe.
  5. PFD (personal floatation device) – If you use your stand up paddle board beyond the limits of a swimming , surfing or bathing area the US Coast Guard requires you to have a USCG Approved life vest. Please see the following link by the WPA (World Paddle Association) regarding the Life Vest Safety Laws.

Getting Up, Basic Strokes and Techniques
Select a Stable Paddle Board

  • Select a wide 30"+ and stable 11'+ board to start. Always start in calm, flat water
  • The board should feel comfortable and not tippy when standing without forward motion. If after several attempts to gain your balance it still feels too tippy then try a larger, wider board.
  • Many people start out on a board much too small and can never seem to gain balance and become disheartened. Don't let this be you. Choose the right size board to start out and when in doubt always go wider and thicker.

 Follow these helpful tips for holding the paddle

  • Always grip the paddle with one hand on the top of the paddle and the other on the center of the shaft. Hold the paddle in front of you with elbows bent at 90 degrees. This should give you comfortable spacing for paddling.
  • The blade will be angled and when paddling remember to keep the blade angle facing away from you.
  • Paddles float so if you fall and must let it go - it won't sink.

How to Stand Up on your Paddle Board

  • Always start out in calm flat water and keep in mind you could be falling so unless you're in the tropics a wetsuit may be a good idea
  • Get the board out into the water so the fin is free from hitting the bottom
  • Start out on your knees and take a few strokes on each side of the board
  • Slowly stand up with one foot at a time and stay in the middle of the board with feet parallel to the stringer about should width apart
  • Keep a slight bend in the knees and your core centered over the board.

Basic Strokes: Forward Stoke

  • There are a few basic philosophies on paddle technique but all revolve around using your paddle as a lever. Your top hand will be driving the lever and the bottom hand will act as the fulcrum point. So with that in mind we provide the following strokes and tips.
  • Keep your bottom arm straight and relatively still
  • Pull your top arm toward your body to extend the paddle forward
  • Rotate your top shoulder forward and extend your reach
  • Insert the paddle into the water as far forward as possible and bury the paddle into the water
  • Rather than pulling you paddle through the water, think about pulling past your paddle.
  • To stay in a straight line take a few stokes on one side then switch to a few strokes on the other and always remember to switch the position of your hands when your paddle changes sides

   Basic Strokes: Turning with the Forward Sweep Stroke

  • To turn left place the paddle in the water on the right side at the same time turning your torso to the left side.
  • Keep a low stance and pull to the right towards the tail with the paddle while twisting and leaning to the left with your torso and feel the board shift to the left quickly.

Basic Stokes: Turning with the Reverse Sweep Stoke

  • To turn right place the paddle near the tail and pull toward the nose while shifting your torso to the right.
  • This will spin your board's nose to the right hand side. The more you bend your knees the easier it will be to turn the board.

Beginners Beware: Don't make these common mistakes

  • Always hold the paddle from the top of the handle. Lots of people always want to hold the paddle like a broomstick with both hands on the shaft. Don't do it! Always grab it from the top handle with one hand and the other on the shaft.
  • Keep your feet parallel and spread shoulder with apart. Everyone wants to get in a surf stance and it makes paddling on the flat water ten times harder and you will fall. Save your surf stance for the surf and keep your feet parallel with toes pointed toward the nose.
  • Make sure your grip on the paddle is shoulder width apart. Short grips will give you a powerless stroke.
  •  Dip the blade fully in the water and take a long stroke letting your large back muscles do the work. Many people put the full brunt of the stroke on the arms. Let the big back muscles do the brunt of the work.

We are thrilled to be learning a great new (new to us) game of pickle ball.  Our badminton courts are the same dimensions as a pickle ball court, so we are ready to go.  Following is a comprehensive guide to the game.  We hope you will make use of this great new addition to Pehrson Lodge’s activities.  We may even have a tournament!

The Kids Program had so much fun going on a pontoon ride, fishing and then for ice cream!

What a great fishing trip these guys had! Sam caught a 25 3/4" walleye and Danny caught a 25" walleye, while they were out fishing with their guides, Joe and Buck. Way to go guys!


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