Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Working Out Outside Can Improve More Than Your Weight

We've been talking a lot about how exercise can improve you in ways other than just losing weight and being fit, and while we've covered exercise in improving mental health, new research from the University of Essex in the United Kingdom is adding a new twist to the story. I found several stories on this, but the best was from The Daily Mail, entitled, "Forget the gym! An open-air workout can work wonders for the mind".

According to the article and the research upon which it's based, researchers found that even five minutes of exercise outside -- especially near water, which is something we're naturally drawn to -- were shown to increase mood, self-esteem and so on. This has researchers recommending that doctors prescribe "green exercise" to their patients, so that they spend time exercising outside.

In studying over 1,200 people, researchers found that merely five minutes of exercise outside was beneficial to one's mood and mental well-being. Five Minutes? That's pretty darned amazing. "I think the fact you only have to do it for only five minutes to see a positive effect is encouraging and it's a lot cheaper than the gym," said Dr. Jo Barton, the lead scientist behind the study.

This means even a short walk outside can have a beneficial effect on your mood and self-esteem. As someone who works out exclusively indoors myself, I plan to try this out and see what the effects are. I mean, what's five minutes outside? Overall, this just shows another positive effect of exercise, and gives people one more reason to work out.