Exercise in nature or Green exercise is a form of physical exercise which is carried out in natural environments.
It is known to provide health benefits especially to people who are suffering from anxiety and depression. Being in touch with nature and natural scenes has a calming effect on the mind as well as it improves mood.
This is good news. It doesn’t take long for you to get a good mood and a calm mind when you exercise in nature. According to a research conducted at the University of Essex in the UK, it only takes just five minutes for green exercise to make a difference in your mood and mental health.
The research involved 10 independent studies and a total of 1,250 participants. The objective of the study was to determine the mental health effects of outdoor exercises like boating, walking, cycling, gardening, horseback riding and farming.
After gathering the results, the researcher discovered that the people who were made to exercise in a “green” setting such as a park, garden or nature trail experienced a boost in their mood and self-esteem within five minutes.
The study further said that exercises which were conducted in green surroundings had better calming effect on the participants than the ones which were conducted in urban surroundings. But the most significant effect was seen in places that had water like a creek or brook, and in participants who were young or mentally ill.
According to research leader Jules Pretty, based on the results of the study, it would be beneficial to employees in stressful workplaces if their employers encourage their workers to engage in walks at nearby parks during lunch breaks. He also said that a similar program might help to improve the behavior and perception of youth offenders.
Pretty further asserted that the major advantage of a green exercise is it’s being drug-free and cost-effective.
In a report published in the Environmental Science and Technology, Paul Farmer, chief executive of a nonprofit organization for mental health called Mind, asserted that green exercise as a treatment should be given to people who are experiencing depression.
Mind plays an important role in caring for the welfare of mentally depressed people.