December 21, 2014

June 27, 2012


Jogging in forest twice as good as trip to gym for mental health

[Sniff] I already knew this.

From The Telegraph, where there is more:

Researchers found that anything from a stroll in the park to a run through woodland can have a positive effect on people suffering from depression and anxiety.
The study also showed that the positive effect on people’s mental health was 50 per cent more than they might expect from going to the gym.
The researchers at Glasgow University looked at natural and non-natural environments for physical activity, including walking, running and cycling, and found that being around trees and grass lowered brain stress levels.
The study, led by Prof Richard Mitchell, polled nearly 2000 physically active people in the 2008 Scottish Health Survey.
Only activities carried out in a natural environment outdoors were found to be associated with a lower risk of poor mental health.


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5 comments

I never have understood gym membership except for those who live in the concrete jungle. I n our area, most neighborhoods are safe for walking, or jogging, and the area has good access to State parks and recreational trails. Still, many opt for the gym. I always thought there must be some networking or socialization going on there that must be of some benefit. If this study is correct, maybe it is better to take either the high road or the low road to Scotland than to join the Y.

[1] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 6-27-2012 at 08:36 AM · [top]

One of the great things about South Dakota is that “natural environments” abound.  Even here in the city of Sioux Falls, the parks people devised a wonderful system of bike/walking trails that take one along river banks and through woods - there are stretches where you truly forget that you are in a city.

I am not surprised by this study as far as stress reduction benefit.

But for a middle aged guy like me, the gym has contraptions that allow full range of motion/workout of muscle groups with reduced risk of injury to aging joints and such.  But then the gym I go to also looks out on a slough with all kinds of birds and, at the time I go, a spectacular sunrise.  Best o’ both.

[2] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 6-27-2012 at 09:37 AM · [top]

The green color might have something to do w/ why woods are such healthy, stress-reducing running places.

Michel Quoist, Prayers:

Green Blackboards

The school is up-to-date.
Proudly the Principal enumerates all the improvements.
The finest discovery, Lord, is the green blackboards.
The scientists have studied the matter at length, they have made
  experiments;
We now know that green is the ideal color, that it doesn’t tire
  the eyes, that it is quieting and relaxing. 

It has occurred to me, Lord, that you didn’t wait so long to paint
  the trees and the meadows green.
Your research laboratories were efficient, and in order not to tire
  us, you perfected a number of shades of green for your
  modern meadows.
And so the “finds” of men consist in discovering what you have
  thought from time immemorial.
Thank you, Lord, for being the good Father who gives his
  children the joy of discovering by themselves the treasures
  of his intelligence and love.
But keep us from believing that by ourselves we have invented
  anything at all. 


pub Sheed & Ward, 1963
LOC 63-17141

[3] Posted by maineiac on 6-27-2012 at 04:45 PM · [top]

I actually find walking more painful and more tiring than machines like elliptical trainer at the gym.  I can do 45 minutes on the elliptical trainer but can’t walk near that long. Everyone is different so if walking is good exercise for you, great. I prefer the gym.

[4] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 6-27-2012 at 06:13 PM · [top]

Great post, Sarah.  I’m currently training for a trail marathon in Aspen.  So, I’m spending lots of time on trails near my Colorado home.  Sadly, one of my favorite trails is currently closed due to the fire.  I’ve run Waldo Canyon many times, and will miss it.  I’m just not a “gym” guy.  I’ll run for hours in the wild.  I never listen to music.  Gotta listen.  Two weeks ago on retreat, three priest-types did a strong hour twenty mountain run, and finished in a lake.  That’s a retreat!

[5] Posted by Theron Walker✙ on 6-27-2012 at 09:52 PM · [top]

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