Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Life Enhancing 'Green Exercise'

We were out in the back dunes the other day...

...exploring, walking and taking photos of native orchids and other botanical wonders...

...and we came back so enlivened and refreshed that I really wanted to share with and remind you to make the time/effort to get out in nature, get away from the abstracted man-made world and reconnect with your natural environment.

Of course, we all know that exercise is good for both the body and mind... and a recent BBC Medical Science news article I came across backs this up with research showing that "Just five minutes of exercise in a 'green space' such as a park can boost mental health"

"There is growing evidence that combining activities such as walking or cycling with nature boosts well-being."

So to support you to get out in nature, here's a summary of the BBC Medical Science News article:

Green Exercise: Good for Mind and Body
"Just five minutes of exercise in a "green space" such as a park can boost mental health, researchers claim.

In the latest analysis, UK researchers looked at evidence from 1,250 people in 10 studies and found fast improvements in mood and self-esteem.

The research looked at many different outdoor activities including walking, gardening, cycling, fishing, boating, horse-riding and farming in locations such as a park, garden or nature trail.

Green and blue

A bigger effect was seen with exercise in an area that also contained water - such as a lake or river.

Paul Farmer, chief executive of mental health charity Mind, said the research is yet further evidence that even a short period of green exercise can provide a low cost and drug-free therapy to help improve mental well-being."

Get out in nature

So here's a life enhancing suggestion: Sometime today or tomorrow, take 10 minutes to go for a walk in nature. Go to a nearby park. Spend more time in natural settings. Get out into the garden. Find a tree lined street. Reconnect with the outdoors. Next weekend drive to the beach or country and go exploring. Do some green exercise and you'll come back refreshed, alive and regenerated.

And surely, that is life enhancing!


ps If you'd like to see more of the beautiful images from our walk down the ocean, check out my beloved's photographic portfolio at http://passionflower2.deviantart.com/gallery/


  1. Good reminders, Grant. Working out in a gym or health club is beneficial, but those who only work out indoors are definitely missing out. Just like with food. We could get all the nutrients we need eating in restaurants every day, but we would not get the added benefits from preparing our food in a "heart of the home" kitchen and, at least some times, sharing that food with loved ones.

  2. Wow, I'm thinking of a lot of Positive People who would love to see at least one of those pictures and take that idea to heart! It's why I'll always take a bike path over a road. There are so many conseravtions and natural parks in Canada and they get used on a per-capita basis at a VERY low level.

    Smiles and hugs!

  3. Thank you for the blog and the emails. I always enjoy them as they always give me an excuse to take time out and enjoy the moment.

  4. And here's some more recent research on the benefits of exercise:

    Want a Better Work-Life Balance? Exercise, Study Finds

    "Individuals who exercised regularly were more confident they could handle the interaction of their work and home life and were less likely to be stressed at work," said Russell Clayton, assistant professor of management at Saint Leo University and lead author on the paper.



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