The World is a scary place at the moment; war in Ukraine, energy prices, and rising interest rates are all contributing to have a negative impact on our mental health.
There are many studies that show the benefit of the outdoors in reducing risk of mental health issues, improving mood, and increasing life satisfaction.
In this episode, we will be sharing a few reasons why its good to get outside!
Aside from the obvious benefits to physical health, staying active is also good for mental health. Research has found that exercise reduces the risk of mental health problems like anxiety or depression within 15 minutes of starting, with results lasting up to 4 hours after exercise.
Our friends from the Country Walking 1000 mile challenge have shared one of their favourite quotes from a participant;
'I was always tired and never wanted to go out. Or do anything… But now I’ve started cooking from scratch, I make my own bread, smiling; I feel like I’ve totally changed my life. Love work, walking, cooking, LIFE.' - Ian Smith, 62, Edinburgh
Another major benefit of staying active is an improvement in quality of sleep. Studies have found that going for a walk in the late afternoon / evening improves the quality of REM sleep.
To find out more about the 1000 mile challenge - see here
Modern life is busy, and our bodies are constantly bombarded by stimulation. Taking time to reflect upon our natural surroundings allows our body to “reset”, whilst also recovering from the adrenaline associated with daily stress.
Family time spent outdoors has been seen to help children focus on schoolwork by restoring concentration, whilst also reducing cortisol levels.
Although green spaces are a little more difficult to find in large towns & cities, you may be surprised at how many hidden spaces there in your vicinity.
Finding canals, parks, or gardens in cities will allow you to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Studies have found that exercising in green spaces for as little as 5 minutes improves mood and feelings of self-esteem.
Getting out into these green spaces will also give your body the opportunity to stock up on Vitamin D, essential for healthy bones and a strong immune system.