Outdoor activities to boost your physical and psychological well-being.
Mental health is crucial for your overall well-being. As such, you should adopt a lifestyle that promotes your psychological wellness. We all know that being outside in nature and breathing fresh air helps disperse all our negative thoughts, and it's an excellent way to soak in Vitamin D.
With the pressures of life mounting daily, you will need to engage in activities that help you relieve all the stress and enjoy life. There are so many outdoor activities you perform to improve your mental health, and they include:
Hiking is a great way to get in tune with nature and dispel thoughts overwhelming your mind. It's a common belief that when you are surrounded by nature, especially if you are hiking in an area with plenty of trees, flowers, and streams, your stress naturally disappears as nature instills feelings of calmness.
Hiking is also a great form of exercise and helps enhance your overall health. It can be a perfect hobby if you live in a region with plenty of hiking trails and parks.
Yoga is excellent for your mental and overall well-being as it helps improve balance. When you practice yoga outdoors, you increase your chances of having a connection with the earth.
Yoga increases your mind and body awareness because, like meditation, you are required to do a lot of deep breathing, which helps you dispel negative energy and breathe in the fresh air, which allows your brain to relax and produce serotonin which helps alleviate feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress.
With yoga, you will be more agile, improving your health as it helps lower your blood pressure and boosts your immune system.
If you're not a fan of running, try cycling. It requires a lot of focus and balance to avoid falling. If you're just starting, ride on smooth surfaces. It will be challenging when riding on gravel, as you must focus when maneuvering your bike along the bumpy road, making you forget your stress.
Biking is also an excellent means of reducing your carbon footprint, and if your job is not far from home, you can opt to cycle as it will allow you to enjoy nature and save on fuel costs. On weekends you can go cycling with your family, thus helping create a stronger bond.
Gardening is another activity for anyone struggling with their mental health, whether from a heartbreak, trauma, or loss. A satisfying feeling takes over once you see a seed develop into a seedling and then into towering plants that produce fruits. Or the fact you can get flowers for vases or vegetables for your salads and meals from the garden you started is an outstanding achievement that brings happiness and relieves stress.
You find that older adults suffering from ailments such as dementia are encouraged to take up gardening as a form of treatment.
Water is a great stress reliever. The feeling of cold water on your skin and fresh air in your lungs helps our brain release endorphins which help boost our mood and alleviate stress. That's why you find that many people opt to go swimming or perform water sports such as kayaking, paddling, snorkeling, or swimming when they are not in a great mental space.
And since you don't want to drown, you will have to stay calm and focus while in the water, which helps take your mind off all your worries and fears.
If you are not up to getting into the water, you can walk along the shores, just walking and breathing fresh air is enough for your mental wellness.
Running is a great outdoor exercise; you can do it regardless of location. If you stay in a busy area, you can try running early in the morning or late in the evening, but make sure you have a partner for added safety.
The best part about running is that you don't need any type of training and can do it at a comfortable pace. You will notice that getting out of the house and running, even for 20 minutes, will significantly impact your mental health.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a tremendous shift in people's lives, and people had to be creative. Thus many had to make lifestyle changes; where one used to go to the gym, they now had to work out from their homes or run around the neighborhood, and their diet also changed.
7. Rock Climbing
If you are an adrenaline junkie, rock climbing is a fun outdoor activity that commands your attention and physical fitness. Although you have the added protection of the harnesses, rock climbers seek to get to the highest point. Therefore, when crawling up the wall, their mind is of their struggles; the only thing on their mind is the next step to take them to the top.
If you live in a place with rivers and lakes, you can take up fishing on days you feel low and need a boost. Not only will you enjoy the fresh air, but you will also get to eat fresh seafood. And fish is an excellent source of Omega-3-fatty acids, an essential nutrient for mental and physical well-being.
If you love getting lost in nature and gazing at the stars, you must go camping whenever you feel on edge. There is something about sitting around a fire pit and sleeping in a tent that keeps you grounded. Take your camping gear and hop in your car during the weekend and unwind at your favorite camping site.
Ensure that all your gadgets are off to avoid distractions and allow you to connect with nature. However, ensure that someone knows where you are going and when you'd be back. It would also be better if you had a company for added security.
Meditation is essential for mental health, and medical practitioners recommend it for people struggling with stress, anxiety, and depression. When done outside, meditation has immense benefits as it allows you to breathe in the fresh air and stay grounded. It helps increase awareness of your emotions, thus enabling you to manage your psychological problems.
If you are struggling with mental health, it would be best to switch up your lifestyle and diet. Make sure to include one outdoor activity in your routine. It can be walking around the neighborhood, swimming, yoga, meditation, or cycling. These activities help you connect with nature and fuel your brain, thus leaving you stress-free.