Research suggests that exercising outdoors – in nature, has mental health benefits, above and beyond that normally experienced with exercise indoors.
A meta analysis, which examined the results of 10 UK studies concluded that exercising in nature had significant long and short term positive effects on both self esteem and mood.
very green environment improved both self-esteem and mood; the presence of water generated greater effects.
Both men and women had similar improvements in self-esteem after green exercise, though men showed a difference for mood.
Age groups: for self-esteem, the greatest change was in the youngest, with diminishing effects with age; for mood, the least change was in the young and old.
The mentally ill had one of the greatest self-esteem improvements.
Exercising outdoors, particularly near water is better for our mental health than compared to the same exercise, done indoors or in an urban, built up area.
Exercise itself is good for you both physically and mentally, and being in nature is good for your mental health, even if you just sit or stand there admiring the trees!
If you are suffering from stress or depression, try a daily, or weekly walk in nature to combine the two. Once you get fitter, maybe try a run at the end of the walk, to get some endorphins going too!
Unfortunately, I don’t live by a beach in Brazil, but I do live by a river in Hope, North Wales…
Although to be fair, North Wales does have lots of great beaches with nearby holiday parks – so it might be worth considering a staycation this summer, with some daily exercise on the beach.
Although it’s not always that warm in Talacre, so if vitamin D is a factor, we might struggle during the winter months…