10 Actually Fun Outdoor Activities to Get You Up and Moving—and Improve Your Mental Health, Too

February 12, 2022 by Parade

Time spent in the great outdoors is never wasted. But now that we’ve changed our routines—whether through remote work, social distancing, or a cross-country move—it’s never been more important to enjoy the chirping birds and fresh air that nature has to offer. And that’s where outdoor activities come in.

In fact, research shows that spending time outdoors can help reduce stress while elevating happiness, positivity, and a sense of purpose. Getting outdoors regularly may also prevent the risk of developing a psychological illness, as demonstrated by a Danish study on children living near green spaces. In this research, kids with the least access to nature had a 55% higher risk of developing substance use or mental health disorders compared to those who interacted with nature often.

It’s clear that nature offers tremendous wellness benefits, but it can also feel daunting if you don’t consider yourself an outdoorsy type. The good news: You don’t have to climb a mountain to feel good. According to Melissa Rodriguez, Fitness Specialist (NASM Certified Personal Trainer & NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning) at Mindbody, “It doesn’t take much time exercising outdoors to reap the benefits.”

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