I know that being physically active is good for me. It makes me feel good. But with school and homework, sometimes it is hard to find the time. But a new report from researchers at the UK’s University of Essex shows that five minutes of activity a day packs the biggest punch when it comes to boosting mood and self-image – which is just what I need!
The researchers analyzed 10 studies that involved over 1200 participants. All 10 studies examined the self-esteem and mood benefits of “green exercise” — so not just any kind of exercise — but outdoor exercise. Something done in the presence of trees, an open sky, water, a garden, or other natural scenery. Green exercise could be walking, running, biking, rollerblading, taking your dog out to the park, gardening, or anything that gets you outside and in the presence of mama nature.
This five minutes proved powerful: men and women, old and young, healthy and those with health challenges, all showed a big improvement in mood and self-esteem.
So you actually don’t need to go all-out to get a very real reward from exercising. Even if you don’t have time to work up a major sweat, you can lift your spirits and bolster your confidence.
What you can do in five minutes? Get out of the house and walk to a tree, park, or garden. Take a few deep breaths, and back you go! Take the dog for a walk. Pick a favourite song, put on your iPod, and walk around the block. Step out on to your porch with a nice view, and do a few simple yoga poses or stretches.
Will you take five minutes outside today?