Exercise Outdoors To Ease Depression Symptoms

I’ve talked about exercise reducing depression, but exercising outdoors has more benefits! The benefits of outdoor exercise have been confirmed in studies, so you don’t have to just take my word for it.

Exercise Outdoors To Reduce Depression

Why Does Exercising Outdoors Ease Symptoms of Depression?

Outdoor exercise helps ease depression symptoms and negative moods better than exercising indoors.

A study conducted by the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry concluded that exercise in a natural environment contributes to mental and physical well-being in ways that were not found in test subjects which conducted the same exercises indoors.

Out of the 833 adult volunteers used in this study, mental well-being was boosted substantially higher in those who exercised outdoors as opposed to their indoor counterparts.

  • The natural endorphins which exercise releases will benefit your mood no matter where you exercise.
  • The emotional and mental benefits you receive from working towards your fitness goals are also an added benefit.

Why Is Exercising For Depression Outdoors Beneficial?

  • Vitamin D – Natural Mood Enhancer

Whenever you exercise outside you harness the amazing power of the sun. The sun works as a natural mood enhancer. Sunlight actually boosts the production of vitamin D in your body. This helps combat seasonal mood changes and depression usually triggered in winter.

– More than 500,000 Americans suffer from the depressing effects of seasonal affective disorder or SAD.

  • Endorphins – Double Emotional Boost

Your exposure to the sun while you are exercising gives you a double emotional boost. Your endorphins naturally begin to work to crush your depression as you exert yourself and the effect of sunlight on your skin naturally improves your mood, even after just 10 to 15 minutes of exposure.

How many people have said, ‘I need to step outside to get a little fresh air’?Usually it is when they are feeling stressed or depressed…right?

Brad M. Reedy, PhD and director of clinical services at Second Nature Wilderness Programs in Duchesne, Utah, says that fresh air, soaking up the sunshine and feeling your toes in the grass, all combine to relieve depression symptoms.

He says that nature has a soothing, calming effect on depression symptoms because of the sights, sounds and smell it provides. Doctor Reedy also pointed out that getting outdoors as opposed to exercising inside also limits your exposure to poor ventilation, unnatural lighting and other possibly negative man-made environments.

  • When you step out in the sun, you eliminate a lot of the excuses for exercising. There is plenty of room, the warm sunshine feels great on your skin, and you immediately feel like getting active.
  • Plus, because of the natural ability of sunshine to promote the production of vitamin D in your body, that natural depression fighter helps boost your mood. The mood enhancers released by exercise – your endorphins – help fight the moody blues.

So if you are feeling down and in need of a lift, why not go for a brisk walk or a jog outside in the sunshine? You can enjoy the feel, smell, sights and sounds of nature and you will find your depressive mood disappear much more quickly than if you exercised indoors.

Have you ever noticed the difference of being outside when you are feeling down? Did it lift your moods?

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About Jennifer Johnson

I suffered with social anxiety and stress for years. I discovered what my triggers were and learned to control them. Hopefully some of the natural anxiety relief techniques I have tried, will also be your solution.

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