Can Exercise in a Green Space Help?

Researchers have found that within the first five minutes of exercise in a “green space,” like a park, mental health is improved.  Researchers in the UK have studied 1,250 people and reported fast improvement in mood and self-esteem, specially amongst young people, after a short “green” exercise.

The research focused on many different outdoor activities — such as walking, cycling, horse-riding, gardening, farming and fishing — and found positive physical and mental effects in the first five minutes of the exercise, the BBC reported.

Jules Pretty, a researcher at the University of Essex, believes those who are generally inactive or often stressed out or mentally ill benefit the most from “green space.”  “Employers, for example, could encourage staff in stressful workplaces to take a short walk at lunchtime in the nearest park to improve mental health,” Pretty said.

A bigger effect was also seen when the exercise was at an area with water, like a pond, river or lake.   I think the reasons are obvious but let’s not forget that exercise anywhere is better than none at all!