How Outdoor Exercise Benefits Your Mental Health

While many people work to maintain their health and improve their fitness, others do so for their mental health. The link between physical activity and mental health is in the chemicals your brain releases to make you feel good, including endorphins. This increases your self-esteem, improves your concentration, and helps you feel better overall.

However, did you know that you can further enhance the effects of exercise on your mental health by exercising outdoors? The phrase “nature heals” actually has some truth and you can experience its effects on your mental health once you start exercising outdoors. If you’re still not convinced, here’s how outdoor exercise can benefit your mental health and how you can get started:

How outdoor exercise benefits your mental health

Helps you stay positive

Spending time in nature generates many positive emotions, including happiness, tranquility and creativity. Plants and trees can take credit for this, as they improve air quality, improve concentration and clear the mind. Even just seeing green and purple plants can naturally lower your stress and anxiety levels. This is because humans have an evolutionary response to those colors, making you feel like you are in a sanctuary, thus reducing negative feelings. Along with exercise, this can help you feel better overall.

Improve your mental health

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for the body and mind. Helps the body absorb and preserve calcium and phosphorus for better bone health. At the same time, it supports mental health preventing the internalization of problems related to depression, loneliness and anxiety. A study of babies who received vitamin D daily revealed that they grew up with reduced internalizing psychiatric symptoms, which decreased their chances of developing mental health problems.

Although you can get vitamin D by eating foods like egg yolks and fish, you also get it from the sun. When you exercise outdoors in the sunlight, you multitask by not only releasing endorphins, but also improving your mental health and possibly experiencing a reduced risk of developing problems like depression and anxiety.

Start exercising outdoors

Protect your skin

Even if you don’t exercise in direct sunlight, its ultraviolet rays can still damage your skin. Ultraviolet radiation is necessary for the creation of vitamin D, but too much can cause sunburn and skin cancer. That means that prolonged exposure can harm your physical health, rather than improve it.

Protect your skin using sports sun protection products, which are becoming more popular due to increasing public awareness of UV radiation. One of the key players in sports sun protection is Neutrogena, particularly its Sport Face Oil-Free Lotion sunscreen. It has SPF 70+ for added sun protection and is also sweat, water, and rub resistant for 80 minutes, so you don’t have to worry about reapplying it too often while you exercise.

save your eyes

In addition to your skin, your eyes are subject to damage from UV rays. The eyes can be easily damaged due to photokeratitis (eye sunburn), cataract formation, and early vision loss. Therefore, it is vital to protect your eyes during outdoor exercise.

That is why you should opt for a good pair of high performance sunglasses. This type of sunglasses features the latest technologies, such as polarized lenses that reduce sun glare and greater durability, so they do not break easily in bad weather conditions, compared to normal sunglasses that only have UV protection. and elegant frames. Oakley is a sportswear brand that creates many models of reliable performance sunglasses, including the HSTN, which has a non-slip grip so they won’t slip or break when you’re sweating, and the Sutro, which covers the entire eye area. the eyes for maximum protection. By protecting your eyes with sturdy sunglasses like these, you’ll be able to have more comfortable outdoor workouts.

Develop discipline and endurance.

In addition to protecting your skin and eyes, you must prepare your mind to face the challenge of outdoor exercise. If you’ve taken online fitness classes before, you know it takes self-discipline to stay consistent. Sometimes exercising indoors can be more comfortable since you won’t have to deal with the heat or cold. In these cases, you can make an effort to get out because you know how it can improve your mental health.

You should also develop your stamina, since the outdoors is not always pleasant. You can get tired quickly due to the heat or perform poorly due to the cold, so you should gradually get used to these factors to maintain outdoor exercise. Start by exercising for 15 minutes a day, then 30, then 1 hour. If you feel dizzy or sick, remember to stop and rest because you can try again tomorrow.

Outdoor exercise improves your mental health by releasing endorphins, reducing negative feelings and preventing you from internalizing your problems. Remember these tips before starting your outdoor workouts for your health and safety.

About the contributor:

Georgina Todd is a freelance writer who prefers to write articles on health, wellness and sustainability. In her free time, she enjoys attending dance classes, going to flea markets, and doing home DIY projects.

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