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Welcome to The Maris Practice Blog. Here you will find musings, reflections and information about best practice in alternative therapies. We hope you find it useful and interesting.

The benefits associated with outdoor exercise


A study by Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry recently found that exercising outdoors can provide more mental health benefits than indoor exercise. The study was based on results of indoor and outdoor exercise trials.

It did find that the wellbeing outcomes of both types of exercise showed an improvement. However, on average, the following benefits were reportedly even stronger after exercising outdoors than they were after indoor activities:

  • Revitalisation,
  • Increased energy,
  • Positive engagement,
  • Enjoyment and satisfaction.

Similarly, it seems exercising outdoors decreased the following sensations even further than indoor exercise did:

  • Tension,
  • Confusion,
  • Anger,
  • Depression.

The evidence suggests that exercising outdoors can make your workout seem less demanding. From appreciating your surroundings to taking care where you put your feet, you're so ¬focused on where you are that you pay less attention to how tired you are, and so able to push yourself further. And that is only the start of a body of ¬research that suggests that exercising outdoors is – in many cases – better for you than doing the same workout in a gym.

By combining exercise and the outdoors, you get a multiplying effect. Fresh air and increased oxygen consumption cause your body to produce more Serotonin (the happy chemical) making you feel good, reducing your stress and increasing your happiness.

Oddly you also burn more calories outdoors! Wind resistance outdoors and the changing terrain and uneven ground force all mean you work harder (without really noticing!).

Let's not forget the sunshine (well sometimes and actually even on a dull day!). When our skin is exposed to sunlight we produce Vitamin D3 which is important vitamin for bone health, metabolic function and our mood. Exposure to sunlight has also been proven to help us sleep better at night, improve our immune system and increase endorphin production. Just keep safe with sun cream, clothing and a hat!

All of this, in turn, helps you stick to your regime. So next time the gym doesn't beckon beguilingly, head for the great outdoors. There is nothing quite like surrounding yourself with greenery and breathing in fresh air to clear your head. Don't forget there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing! Well that might not be quite true, but a rainy day has it's own quietness and peace.

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