Health

Why Outdoor Sports Are Good For Your Mental Health

mental health sport

Naturally, outdoor physical activities improve your wellbeing. A range of outdoor activities can improve mental alertness, calm anxiety, and lower blood pressure. Other benefits include proper circulation of blood to cells and production of the ‘feel-good’ hormones. It’s an opportunity to spend time in nature when people engage in outdoor sports.

Make sure you’ve got your gadgets in order: apple watch and, of course, a cool popsocket to take selfies afterwards.

Usually, schools organise sporting activities to boost the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of children. Let’s analyse how outdoor sports can fight depression, bring other mental health benefits (this is admittedly more important than phone accessories!)

Does Mental Health Improve With Outdoor Sports?

According to a mental health counsellor, outdoor sports help people to experience escapism. The term escapism is the art of avoiding restraint and mental depression. It can be set-off by any physical location. As a mental condition, escapism is also a psychological state that triggers poor mental development in children. Also, this condition can affect the wellbeing of adults. Walking around in the woods, hiking in mountains, cycling, and other outdoor sports improve mental concentration. When people suffer from stress and anxiety, they often experience a high level of cortisol. The body uses this hormone (cortisol) as a marker for stress and ignoring it can cause a mental breakdown.

Outdoor Sports for Therapy

When patients suffer from mental health challenges, psychologists recommend (light) physical activities that can de-stress them. In clinical psychology, nature has potent effects on stress levels. As a therapy, outdoor activities in sports can restore mental conditions that are not severe. Also, senior citizens with dementia or Alzheimer’s diseases can benefit from playing puzzle and card games in outdoor environments. These games are effective exercises that help to improve mental reasoning and focus.

Outdoor Sports for Attentional Restorative Therapy

The Attentional Restorative Therapy (ART) therapy is a psychological condition of improving your mental focus with outdoor activities. As you take a break every day; move from your dense urban area to a quiet and natural environment that inspires outdoor adventures. A natural habitat like the forest doesn’t have crowds of people that take your mental focus. Unlike playing in your neighbourhood park, you can avoid distractions with other natural areas.

Generally, a peaceful environment allows for restoration of attentional resources. It’s normal for these attentional resources to be depleted. However, outdoor sports in serene areas can stimulate brain cells and engage your mind effectively.

Outdoor Sports for Mood Improvements

Working in the garden can improve your mood. Usually, mood swings trigger unhappy moments, and it’s bad for relationships with people. It’s important to have a garden located where there’s enough exposure to sunshine. This strategy allows gardening enthusiasts to enjoy vitamin D when the sun rises in the morning. While working in any green space, you can also enjoy more concentration of oxygen from plants. Our brain cells need oxygen and blood to get stimulated. This effect can arouse the ‘feel-good’ hormones that brighten our mood. 

Gardening is a physical activity like outdoor sports because it’s a mix of exercise and mental health improvement. Also, outdoor activities in green (natural) areas regulate blood circulation; reduce blood pressure, and heart rate.

More ways Of Boosting Mental health With Outdoor Activities

Your mental health exercise is incomplete with having outdoor meditations every day. Instead of relaxing inside your home; a 10-minute session of deep breathing and yoga can make a difference. Exercise is important for mental stimulation, and health is wealth. You can take a daily walk, run or ride a bicycle on a greenway if you need other mental health benefits. Mental stimulation from outdoor sports like kayaking, fishing, and skiing has been proven to reduce cortisol levels too.


Author Since: Feb 14, 2019

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