Spending time outside, close to nature, improves our mental wellbeing. But why are green environments so good for us?
You’ve probably experienced it countless times: that wonderful feeling after a cycle in the forest or a hike up the mountain. Exercise boosts our mental and physical health in many different ways – if you work out in a beautiful natural environment, you can expect even better results.
A growing body of research shows that natural environments promote psychological restoration, and improve mood and attention span, while reducing stress, depression, anxiety and aggression – so much so that it’s been shown to reduce crime in certain communities.
Why the outdoors benefits us
Scientists believe that a few different mechanisms could be at play:
Convinced that spending time outdoors is good for you? Reap the rewards this summer. Even just sitting on a park bench for half an hour could be a boon to your mental health. Just don’t forget to take a JOYA® apple along – it’ll keep you energised while you enjoy the view.
– Thompson, WT et al. (April 2012) More green space is linked to less stress in deprived communities: Evidence from salivary cortisol patterns, Landscape and Urban Planning, Volume 105, Issue 3. Web URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169204611003665
– Mayo Clinic Staff. (October 2014) Depression and anxiety: Exercise eases symptoms. Web URL: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression-and-exercise/art-20046495