Source: BBC News (Summary by NIM)
Spring has sprung and summer is upon us which means it's the perfect time to start taking advantage of some outdoor exercise instead of being cooped up indoors in the gym. Grab your Rollerblades, a bike or just take a leisurely stroll outside and you'll do more than just improve your physical health - researchers have found that it also improves your mental health!
According to new research, spending just 5 minutes in 'green spaces' each day is enough to boost your mood, mental health and even self-esteem. The researchers even say that activities that we don't normally consider 'exercise', such as gardening, can show the same benefits. Basically, just being outdoors and enjoying green spaces is beneficial.
Even though it's pretty much common knowledge that when the weather is nice, we flock outside and tend to be in a better mood, this new research may have some new practical applications. According to the researchers, employers can encourage their staff to head outdoors for a stroll during particularly stressful days, or even just on their lunch breaks, which not only counts as exercise, it can help them blow off some steam, too.
Check out the article called "'Green' exercise quickly 'boosts mental health'" from BBC News (May 1, 2010) for more details.