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Get Outdoors For Better Mental Health

Get Outdoors For Better Mental Health

A good walk, along with time spent in the great outdoors, almost always makes you feel energised and well. Both walking and connecting with nature have been proved to have many benefits for our mental wellbeing. So combining the two is a great way to support your health and wellbeing.

Why Is Walking Outdoors Good For Us?

For most people, walking is one of the best and most affordable forms of exercise. It can be easily incorporated into our daily lives and needs no expensive equipment or training.

But the benefits of taking a good walk proportionally outweigh the effort involved and they’re intrinsically linked to better mental and physical health.

When you take a regular walk you will:

  • Improve your cardiovascular system
  • Reduce anxiety, stress and even symptoms of depression
  • Set yourself up for better sleep quality
  • Increase your self-esteem, confidence and ability to cope with difficult scenarios
  • Work your body as it should be - we’re designed perfectly to walk long distances and by doing so we are allowing our bodies to build muscle & improve cartilage which will protect our joints.

The Benefits of Being in Nature

There is an abundance of research into why our relationship with nature leaves such a positive effect on our mental wellbeing.

Perhaps we’re simply designed to be in the great outdoors, but there is strong evidence to show that it is an incredibly powerful tool in improving our mental health problems including anxiety and depression, including the symptoms brought on by seasonally affected disorder.

Very much like walking, the benefits of time spent in nature far outweigh the effort involved.

Try Forest Bathing

Ever tried it? The Japanese have been forest bathing (shinrin yoku) for some time and it’s a cultural practice they swear by for its mental health benefits.

Never heard of it? 

It’s a very simple method of spending quiet, calm time sitting or walking amongst trees and observing the nature around. It can be as simple as walking or engaging with any natural environment and consciously connecting with what’s around you - trees, shrubs, flowers, birds, animals, weather, etc.

Incorporating breathing deeply and calming your thoughts it’s a simple way for people of all ages and physical abilities to de-stress and boost their health and wellbeing in the most natural of ways.

The Best Place to Engage With Nature

While the world is full of incredible beaches, forests, mountains and rivers, the good news is that you don’t need to head to an exotic or far-flung location to reap the benefits. 

Regularly tending to a window box or enjoying your local park can be enough to add significant improvements to your mental health.

In fact, if you’re unable to get outside at all, there is evidence to show that you can still lower your anxiety and enjoy the positive benefits of being in nature simply by looking at it through an open window. Even watching a nature programme or doing crafts/cooking with natural materials can engage the parts of the brain that will soak up the incredible powers of nature.

Now that’s amazing, and it’s something we can all do on a regular basis.

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February 2022