Scientists writing in the Environmental Science and Technology Journal claim that exercising in a natural environment brings both mental and physical wellbeing benefits compared to pumping it inside.
The researchers analysed a range of existing studies that compared the health and wellbeing effects of outdoor exercise with that of indoor exercise.
Most of the studies analysed in the report suggest that exercising outdoors makes people feel more revitalised, gives them more energy and is better at reducing tension, confusion, anger and depression when compared to exercising indoors.
“Some 75% of the European population now live in urban environments, so increasing efforts need to be made to re-connect people with nature,” says Professor Michael Depledge, the study’s senior author.
“Our research adds significant weight to the case for spending more time in the natural environment as members of the public fight to counteract the negative outcomes of modern living, such as obesity and depression.”
It’s amazing here in Sydney- as I sit in the local park munching on my lunch I’m surrounded by people working out. They have “fitness stations” which are government provided and look a bit like a kiddies playground. But these stations are absolutely jam-packed with men and women doing pull ups, press ups, weights, and all sorts of fancy exercises . They’re also like running around the park merrily.
Obviously, we could point out, it’s easier to workout outside when you’re in Australia. But I’ve seen people clutching to their beloved fitness stations rain hail or shine! (Yes it does rain here-I was not happy when I found out)
So maybe I’ll dig out my muddiest trainers and join in. Or maybe I’ll sit with a book and just soak up the atmosphere…
P.S if you are exercising outside don’t forget to wear an SPF– no matter the weather.