Outdoor Workouts Improve Mental Health

Exercise in fresh air boosts mood; for greater benefits, just add water
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2010 4:46 PM CDT
To boost your mood within 5 minutes, move your workout outdoors.   (?Šarunas B.)
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(Newser) – Moving your workout outdoors improves overall mental health, and the benefits kick in within the first 5 minutes, researchers say. To get the greatest mood boost from exercise in fresh air, work out near a body of water, British scientists advise. In an analysis of 10 studies involving 1,250 subjects, young people and those diagnosed with mental illness showed the greatest improvement, reports the BBC.

"Employers could encourage staff in stressful workplaces to take a short walk at lunchtime in the nearest park to improve mental health," says the lead researcher. "A challenge for policy makers is that policy recommendations on physical activity are easily stated but rarely adopted widely."

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