You probably already know that exercising or doing activities you enjoy, such as hobbies, is good for your body and mind. And maybe you’ve heard of that old saying: “healthy body, healthy mind”. In fact, physical and mental health are intertwined.
But no matter what type of exercise or activity you do, where you do it can increase the benefits – especially for mental health. This is what researchers from York University in the United Kingdom have recently discovered. They reached this conclusion after analyzing 50 previous studies on the subject, involving more than 15 thousand people.
The interesting fact of the study in question is that it was observed that people who did outdoor activities had:
• Lower anxiety levels
• higher degrees of happiness
• More positive emotions and better mood
The results were even better when the activities were related to nature. Gardening, for example, or simply spending time in the middle of the forest looking at the trees, could have these effects.
Of course, good outdoor activities include physical exercise, with its dual effect: improving your physical and mental health at the same time. Fantastic, isn’t it?
It’s time to connect more with nature.
During these pandemic times, we are much more indoors. Now, little by little, it’s time to turn our eyes to nature, as we evolved and we need it to live well. So much so that recent surveys have also shown that people’s interest in walks in parks and squares has been growing.
There are other benefits to enjoying the outdoors as well. For example:
• You increase your vitamin D levels by being exposed to the sun, which is very important for your health.
• More time in daylight can also improve your sleep, by rebalancing your body’s chiaroscuro perception (as opposed to spending too much time on your cell phone screen at night, for example).
• Studies show that people who spend time in nature feel more energized for their other daily activities.
• The natural scent of plants and trees, filled with natural essential oils, is an elixir to relieve our stress, according to a study.
• It’s critical for kids. Several researches show that children who play outdoors have better physical and mental health, and these benefits accompany them even after they grow up.
So, if I can give you an advice, it’s that you enjoy the nature around you. It can be a park, a square, a small wood… The important thing is to go out and see the outside world (safely, of course), and preferably to exercise a little bit. What about?
• PLOS ONE, 2020; 15 (12): e0243344 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0243344.
• Population Health, 2021; 16: 100934 DOI: 10.1016/j.ssmph.2021.100934
• Journal of Environmental Psychology. Volume 30, Issue 2, June 2010, Pages 159-168
• Nature Boosts Self-Evaluation of Vitality. Scientific American. 8. Jun. 2010.
• Science Prove: Contact with Nature Makes You Feel More Alive! – www.DrRondo.com
• It’s Time to Reconnect with Nature – www.DrRondo.com
• Want to Feel Good and Healthy? How about 2 Weekly Hours in Nature? – www.DrRondo.com
• Nature’s Odors Reduce Stress and Cancer Risk – www.DrRondo.com
Dr. Wilson Rondó Jr.
CRM RJ 52-0110159-5
Training Vascular Surgeon and Nutrologist
Registration No. 058357