How Outdoor Exercise Can Improve Your Mood and Mental Health

How Outdoor Exercise Can Improve Your Mood and Mental Health

Are you feeling overwhelmed, stressed out or simply in a bad mood? Trust us when we say that there’s nothing better for your mental and emotional health than getting outside and into nature! Exercise is proven to be one of the best ways to boost endorphins, reduce stress hormones, and improve overall wellbeing. And when

Are you feeling overwhelmed, stressed out or simply in a bad mood? Trust us when we say that there’s nothing better for your mental and emotional health than getting outside and into nature! Exercise is proven to be one of the best ways to boost endorphins, reduce stress hormones, and improve overall wellbeing. And when you combine it with fresh air, sunshine, and scenic surroundings – well, let’s just say it’s truly an unbeatable combination. In this article we’ll delve deeper into how outdoor exercise can bring positive changes to your mood and mental health so that you can start enjoying the benefits of the great outdoors today!

Why Outdoor Exercise is Beneficial

When you’re out exercising, your body gets a break from the stresses of everyday life. Exercising outdoors allows you to get some fresh air and take in natural sunlight, both of which are known to have positive effects on your mood and mental health. According to the National Institutes of Health, spending time outside has been linked with reducing stress levels, improving your mood, and preventing depression. Additionally, getting exercise has been shown to improve brain function and memory.

So why is outdoor exercise so beneficial? One reason is that it helps to release endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals that help reduce pain and inflammation, as well as improve mood and mental health. Exercise also boosts serotonin production in the brain, which can help improve mood and sleep patterns. Overall, getting regular exercise is an important way to maintain your mental health and overall wellbeing.

Types of Outdoor Exercise

Outdoor exercise has a number of benefits for mental health, including improving mood and reducing stress. Here are some types of exercise that can have these effects:

1) Running. Running is one of the most popular forms of outdoor exercise, and it’s also one of the most beneficial. Running has been shown to increase happiness and reduce stress levels, as well as improve mood. Additionally, running has been linked to better mental health overall because it helps you clear your mind and focus on your surroundings.

2) Cycling. Cycling is another great way to get your heart rate up and release endorphins (happy hormones). Endorphins are responsible for reducing stress and improving mood. Additionally, cycling has been shown to help you lose weight, which can also contribute to improved mental health.

3) Hiking/walking. Hiking or walking is another great way to get your heart rate up while enjoying the outdoors. Hiking or walking can also be a great way to restore energy while improving mood and reducing stress levels.

4) Swimming. Swimming is another great way to release endorphins and clear your mind while getting your body moving. Swimming can also be a great workout for those who don’t enjoy running or biking due to their hills or terrain.

How Much Exercise is Enough?

Exercise has been shown to be beneficial to both physical and mental health. A 2009 study published in “Biology Letters” showed that exercise can improve mood and mental health by increasing levels of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. Endorphins are released when you engage in activities that are enjoyable, like exercise. They work to block pain signals from your brain and can improve Mood by making you feel happier and less stressed.

Another study published in “The Journal of Positive Psychology” in 2010 found that people who exercised for at least 30 minutes a day reported significantly higher levels of self-esteem, happiness, life satisfaction, and optimism than those who didn’t exercise. The benefits of exercise go beyond improving physical health; it has been linked with reducing anxiety, depression, and stress as well.

So how much exercise is enough? The answer varies depending on your goals. If you want to simply reduce your risk for chronic diseases such as obesity or heart disease, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity activity. However if you want to improve your mood, increase self-esteem, or reduce stress levels then the American Psychological Association (APA) suggests at least 30 minutes per day of moderate-intensity activity or 10 minutes per day of vigorous-intensity activity.

How to Get Started with Outdoor Exercise

If you’re looking for an enjoyable way to improve your mood and mental health, outdoor exercise is a great option. Here are 5 ways outdoor exercise can help:

1. It Can Boost Your Confidence

One of the biggest benefits of outdoor exercise is that it can boost your confidence. Studies have shown that people who regularly participate in physical activity tend to have a higher self-esteem than those who don’t. This is likely because physical activity promotes positive body image and feelings of accomplishment.

2. It Can Help Reduce Anxiety and Depression

Outdoor exercise has also been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety and depression symptoms. Physical activity has been proven to increase levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating moods and happiness. Additionally, exercise can improve sleep quality and increase psychological resilience, which is important in dealing with stressors in life.

3. It Can Reduce Stress Levels

Stress has negative consequences on both your physical health and mental well-being, including increased rates of disease, heart disease, obesity, and depression. One study found that participants who engaged in moderate intensity aerobic exercise had significantly reduced levels of cortisol – the “stress hormone” – compared to those who exercised at a lower intensity or did not engage in any form of physical activity at all! Exercise has also been shown to reduce stress through its positive effects on blood pressure, cholesterol levels, digestion, insulin sensitivity, bone density and more.

Benefits of Outdoor Exercise for Mental Health

There are many benefits to getting outdoors and exercising, both mentally and physically. Here are five key reasons why spending time outside is great for your mood:

1. Increased oxygen and blood flow: When you exercise, your body gets more oxygen and blood flow. This allows your brain to function at its best, helping you stay alert and focused.

2. Improved mood stability: Exercise has a positive impact on mood stability, which means that it helps prevent mood swings from occurring over time. In addition, regular exercise can help improve feelings of happiness and well-being in general.

3. Reduced stress levels: Exercise has been shown to reduce levels of stress hormones in the body, leading to a reduction in stress levels overall. This can be beneficial not just for mental health, but also for physical health as well!

4. Better sleep habits: Regular exercise can help improve sleep habits, which can lead to increased energy during the day and better overall mental health. In addition, being physically active before bed has been shown to reduce anxiety symptoms the next morning.

5. Increased productivity: Similar to how improved mental health leads to increased productivity at work, having good mental health also leads to increased productivity at home or at play activities. When you’re mentally healthy and energetic all the time, you’re more likely to be able get things done!


Outdoor exercise has been shown to improve mental health and mood in a number of ways. By getting your body moving and releasing endorphins, you can reduce stress levels, improve your sense of well-being, and decrease symptoms of depression. Exercise also stimulates the production of serotonin, which is responsible for feelings of happiness and satisfaction. So whether you are looking to relax after a long day or increase your energy levels for an upcoming workout, getting outside and enjoying some physical activity is a great way to start off the day.

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