As if we didn't already know the benefits of exercising, it seems every little bit helps. According to a recently released study, a mere five minutes of fresh air and exercise a day can improve mental health.
Photo by Jeff Wright.
Researchers at the University of Essex analysed data from 10 existing studies covering 1252 people in the United Kingdom, finding that people who engaged in "green activity" such as walking, gardening or biking — even just five minutes of it — tended to have higher self-esteem and better moods. It comes as no surprise that exercise is healthy, but it isn't always easy to find large chunks of time to get out every day, even if you are doing it at the office. But no matter how busy you are, it shouldn't be impossible to find five minutes to play fetch with your dog in the backyard, or go for a quick jaunt around the block and say hi to the neighbours.
Note that green activity refers not just to exercise, but the presence of nature. So if you live in the middle of a big city, you might have to work a bit more to seek out "green space" — but the effects that just five minutes can have are worth the trouble. Hit the link for more information on the study (or stick it in your bookmarks for later and go enjoy some fresh air)!