How Outdoor Exercise Can Positively Impact Your Mental Health
When looking to improve lifestyle habits, there is a focus on the impacts this has on your physical health, but there may be more of a connection between your exercise and mental health than you think. It's over halfway through the calendar year, and it is easy to get into a mid-year slump where your emotional health slips on the priority list. But this doesn't have to continue!
Regular exercise is a great tool to assist in creating a balanced, healthy life as it helps with sleep and can be a much-needed distraction. Outdoor exercise, in particular, is beneficial for your emotional wellbeing—when it's part of a comprehensive mental health care plan created by a health professional.
Our Top Tips to Exercise for Mental Health
When turning to exercise to manage your mental health, these are our top tips to make it something you can look forward to each day:
- Choose something you enjoy. Outdoor exercise is beneficial for your mental health for the variety of workouts that can form your fitness plan (we have listed four great options to start with below!) It is also important to check in with yourself to make sure that you are still enjoying your exercises and adjust where necessary.
- Start Small. Any exercise is good exercise, and building up your endurance is gradual. When starting, you can even look at how you can use it in your everyday life, whether that be taking the stairs or walking to your local shopping centre.
- Speak to a professional! We are professionals in the fitness world—not mental health. We love all things fitness and the benefits this can have on your overall health. Still, it is important to consult with a certified general practitioner when considering exercise for the treatment of depression and anxiety.
Four Outdoor Exercises to Get You Started
If you love running, you should have the Bowflex BXT226 Treadmill in your home. You can hop on it whenever you feel like getting in a cardio workout. Whether you decide to interval train with walking and running, or run 10 miles on hills, you'll be out of breath when you are done.
Skipping is a great way to exercise. It is easy, convenient and portable—what more do you need for the perfect outdoor activity? Due to its compact size, you can take advantage of the great outdoors and perform a skipping workout anywhere. Whether it's a park, gym or even your backyard, any exercise is good exercise, in our opinion!
Want to make the most of your skipping workout plan? Consider the ARROW Weighted Skipping Rope. Adding weights to something as simple as skipping is great for improved conditioning, balance and endurance—all in one piece of equipment!
2. Running and Mobility Training
How could we not mention running? It is a classic outdoor exercise as you can do it anywhere, as long as you have your running shoes. To increase the benefits of this exercise method, we recommend also looking after yourself through conditioning and mobility exercises using equipment like the ARROW Maximum Mobility Package. Conditioning exercises are a calming way to end an intense workout or a great recovery option for an active rest day.
3. Bodyweight exercises
That's right—completing a full-body workout with no equipment is possible! Body weight exercises effectively improve cardiovascular, and muscle strength all at once and are easy to do anywhere. Due to the lack of gym equipment, this exercise is great if you are new to using movement for mental health improvements—you can use something as simple as a park bench for various strength training exercises. BUT if you want to up your fitness game with some equipment, you could invest in a workout mat.
Trouble sleeping? Try Yoga! Yoga is a calming and relaxing exercise method, which is great for creating an overall healthy lifestyle. It is also a low-impact way of improving strength, balance and flexibility—for those that may find exercises like running too intense. To take this exercise outdoors, pack up your gear and go to your nearest park or beach to make the most of the good vibes and positive emotions yoga brings. A great place to start is investing in something simple like yoga stretch bands to increase the resistance of the exercises.
Whether raising your heart rate or resistance training, outdoor exercise is a great way to connect with yourself, nature, and the outside world while getting a good workout. Getting variety in your workout routine with limited equipment is no easy task, but it is easier with the Australian outdoors as your workout setting. When looking to increase your exercise for mental health reasons, we think taking the workout outdoors and getting some fresh air is a great option!