As you recall from my earlier blog post, Fight Depression with Exercise, exercise has many great physical and mental benefits. One of the most important of those benefits is exercise’s ability to lift depressed moods.
Now a new study published in 2011 suggests that exercising outdoors may lead to greater mental and emotional benefits than indoor exercise. After examining 11 studies with 833 participating adults, the author’s concluded that when compared to indoor exercise, outdoor exercise led to
- Greater improvement in mental well-being
- Greater feelings of revitalization
- Increased energy and positive engagement
- Greater decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression
Those who exercised outside also stated that when compared to working out indoors, they found greater enjoyment and satisfaction with outdoor activity and were more likely to continue with their outdoor workouts.
To get the most anti-depressive effects out of exercise:
- Engage in any form of exercise (mild activity is fine if you don’t want to over-exert yourself)
- Exercise in your spare time
- Exercise with someone or in a group
- Exercise outdoors!!
As the weather gets warmer, be sure to grab a friend and exercise outdoors!