If you’re feeling stressed, anxious, angry or just plain blah, getting out of your funk may be as simple as stepping outside. According to science, time spent in green spaces is associated with lower blood pressure, reduced stress, and improved heart rate. It’s also associated with a lower risk of developing mood disorders. What’s more, is that evidence shows it takes little effort to reap the benefits of fresh air. Spending just 20 minutes in a park, even if you don’t exercise, is enough to boost your mood and improve your overall sense of well-being.
That said, though exercise is not necessary to improve your overall outlook, it does have substantial health benefits. To reap the rewards of the great outdoors and physical activity, consider taking up one of these five hobbies.
1. Take Up Biking
Biking is a fun, low-impact activity that people of all ages and skill levels can enjoy. Easy on the joints, biking is one of the best cardiovascular exercises a person can do to reduce stress levels and improve heart and lung health. It also releases serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter responsible for boosting your mood. To top it off, biking gives you a reason to get out, explore your neighborhood and meet new people. To find a bike you can take on all your outdoor adventures, shop women’s hybrid bike collections.
2. Start a Garden
Gardening comes with numerous benefits. For starters, it encourages you to get close and personal with mother nature, as you must kneel in the dirt, dig your hands into the soil and get to know your natural surroundings. To garden in the truest sense of the term, you must also spend time outside, soaking up the sunlight and breathing in the fresh air, both of which are natural mood boosters. Finally, when you nurture a plant from a seed or seedling into an adult, you feel a sense of accomplishment and purpose.
3. Go Hiking
If simply walking through your neighborhood park is enough to boost your mood, imagine what hiking can do for you. Hiking has been proven to build strength, improve balance, decrease stress and improve cognitive health. Double up your efforts and go on a hiking-biking excursion. Before you do, shop the best women’s comfort bikes to find the best ride for your physique and goals.
4. Stretch Daily
Stretching is a highly underrated yet extremely beneficial activity. Research shows that, among the expected benefits of stretching, which include reduced muscle tension and increased range of motion, people who stretch daily or, at the very least, commit to doing two to three 20- to 30-minute sessions per week, are more optimistic. Researchers attribute this in large part to increased blood flow and less muscle contraction.
5. Go for a Picnic
For those days when you don’t feel like doing much, grab a friend, a light lunch and a picnic blanket and head to the park. Just being outside can do wonders for your mental health. You can double up the benefits of being outdoors by riding your bike to the park instead of driving.
The bottom line is, if you’re looking for a quick mood boost, just head outside. If you want to get active in the process, shop for the best electric bike for tall riders, women’s comfort bikes, hybrid bikes and more.