Great Outdoors Beats the Gym for Happiness Boost While Exercising

by Chris Curley on June 27, 2012

It’s better to take a walk in the park than a jog on the treadmill if you want improve you mental well-being, the Daily Mail reported June 25.

People who exercise in “green spaces” like parks and woodlands are half as likely to suffer poor mental health as those who exercise regularly indoors, researchers from the University of Glasgow in Scotland say. Around 16 percent of those who rarely exercise outdoors have low mental well-being, compared to 8 percent of outdoorsy types.

Those findings tie-in neatly with a recent Canadian study that showed that nature walks help improve mood and cognitive performance among people with depressive symptoms.

‘I wasn’t surprised by the findings that exercise in natural environments is good for your mental health, but I was surprised by just how much better it is for your mental health to exercise in a green place,” study author Richard Mitchell, Ph.D., says.

The study appears online in the journal Social Science and Medicine.

(Photo © ZionNPS via Flickr)