University of Michigan researchers believe participation in extended outdoor activities improves long-term psychological well-being.
Although many people claim to love being outside and taking part in outdoor activities, a large percentage of people spend the majority of their times indoors. With many adults and children spending up to 8 to 10 hours a day in work or school, there isn't much time left at the end of the day to enjoy fresh air.
However, fresh air is one thing that naturally helps improve mental health and creates a feeling of calm and overall well-being.
A 2011 study found that outdoor exercise was associated with greater decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression when compared to indoor activity.
The study found that most trials showed an improvement in mental well-being: compared with exercising indoors, exercising in natural environments was associated with greater feelings of revitalization, increased energy and positive engagement, together with decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression.
The experience of nature helps to restore the mind from the mental fatigue of work or studies, contributing to improved work performance and satisfaction.
Natural environments filled with beautiful greenery, colorful flowers, mountains and bodies of water are ideal locations for physical exercise.
Nature has an enlivening yet soothing effect on your senses. It helps to calm your nerves and quiet your mind. Choose an outdoor activity that you enjoy, be it cycling, hiking, swimming or running. Green exercise is especially helpful if you consciously focus your attention on the beauty of the scenery all around you as you exercise.
Need ideas to pick a fun outdoor activity you'd enjoy doing ?
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