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Not everyone has the opportunity to exercise outside, and working out in a gym or at home is still highly beneficial to the overall health of the body. However, working out while outside has some extra benefits that are lacking indoors.

Mental health is greatly influenced by a “green” environment, so working out outside for just 5 minutes can benefit the health of the brain. The concept of green exercise is that physical exercise takes place in the presence of nature. So by engaging in physical activity outside, like jogging at a park or walking on a nature trail, people can benefit from their environment. It takes just 5 minutes of outside activity to positively stimulate the brain.

A recent study has shown that green exercise can help decrease risk of mental illnesses, but increase the sense of well-being. The groups of people that most benefit from outdoor exercise are young people and the mentally ill. With that said, most of those in the study benefited in some way from their green exercise. Not only is a green environment mentally stimulating, but green areas that include some type of water source, such as a pond, river, or stream, are even more beneficial to mental health.

While exercise in general greatly benefits the muscular system, the brain, and various other systems in the body, exercising outside can increase these benefits. Some of the different ways to absorb these green benefits are through activities like jogging, walking, horseback riding, farming, gardening, or bicycling. Apart from these obvious ways to exercise outside, consider moving other activities outside. Playing sports outside, or stretching, or doing yoga can help to stimulate the brain even more than when these activities are done inside.

Consider including outdoor activities in a daily exercising schedule. Not only will the fresh air and visual appeal of being outside improve the physical activity, but doing physical activities while outside can greatly benefit mental health and stimulate the brain. Include some outside exercises throughout the day, or at least the week, to maintain the wellness of the body.