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Does Outdoor Exercise Help More With Depression?

Limit adult activities: The rituals that build closeness--bedtime stories, walks after dinner, playing games, and simply talking with your children--can't happen when you are not around. As a mom with many personal interests of my own, I have to fight the urge to overload myself.

The benefits of outdoor exercise have been confirmed. And it appears that, in many cases, outdoor exercise better aids in beating depression and negative moods than working out indoors. A revealing study conducted by the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry concluded that outdoor exercise in a natural environment contributes to your mental and physical well-being in ways that were not found in test subjects which conducted the same exercises indoors.

Out of the 833 adult volunteers used in this study, mental well-being was boosted substantially higher in those who exercised outdoors as opposed to their indoor counterparts.

The natural endorphins which exercise releases will benefit your mood no matter where you exercise. And the emotional and mental benefits you receive from working towards your fitness goals are the same whether you exercise at home, in the gymnasium or in a public park.

But whenever you exercise out in nature, you harness the amazing power of the sun that works as a natural mood enhancer. Sunlight actually boosts the production of vitamin D in your body. This helps combat seasonal mood changes and depression usually triggered in winter. (More than 500,000 Americans suffer from the depressing effects of seasonal affective disorder or SAD.

And exposure to the sun while you are exercising gives you a double emotional boost. Your endorphins naturally begin to work to crush your depression as you exert yourself. And the effect of sunlight on your skin naturally improves your mood, even after just 10 to 15 minutes of exposure.

Have you ever heard anyone say they are stepping outside to "get a little fresh air"? Brad M. Reedy, PhD and director of clinical services at Second Nature Wilderness Programs in Duchesne, Utah, says that fresh air, soaking up the sunshine and feeling your toes in the grass, all combine to relieve depression symptoms.

He says that nature has a soothing, calming effect on depression symptoms because of the sights, sounds and smell it provides. Doctor Reedy also pointed out that getting outdoors as opposed to exercising inside also limits your exposure to poor ventilation, unnatural lighting and other possibly negative man-made environments.

And when you step into the great outdoors, you eliminate a lot of the excuses for exercising. There is plenty of room, the warm sunshine feels great on your skin, and you immediately feel like getting active.

Because of the natural ability of sunshine to promote the production of vitamin D in your body, that natural depression fighter helps boost your mood. And the mood enhancers released by exercise, endorphins, help fight the blues as well.

Feeling down? Need a quick pickup? Go for a brisk walk or a jog outside in the sunshine, enjoy the feel, smell, sights and sounds of natureFind Article, and you will find your blue mood disappearing much more quickly than if you exercise indoors.

Article Tags: Outdoor Exercise

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Samantha Knowles is the author of Working Mom Reviews. To know more about how to restore your vision check out Restore My Vision Review Learn tips to reduce your growing diabetes- check Reverse Diabetes Today Review

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