With an increasingly sedentary lifestyle in the United States resulting in a great decline in physical activity nationwide, it is more important than ever to prioritize health and well-being. Both obesity and the prevalence of mental health conditions are on the rise. Millennials, i.e., individuals aged 18-34, are particularly impacted when it comes to mental health. Despite the widespread prevalence of behavioral health conditions among this age group, many people who suffer from anxiety or depression do not seek treatment. While researchers have found a correlation between a greater use of technology and a higher prevalence of behavioral health conditions, others argue that technology brings individuals closer together. One aspect that researchers do agree on is the positive impact of outdoor exercise on mental health.

 

Beyond the many physical benefits of exercise, e.g., better blood pressure, reduced risk of heart disease, etc., working out in the great outdoors yields significant mental health benefits as well. Reduced stress, better memory retention and improved sense of well being are just a few of the many behavioral health benefits outdoor exercise has to offer.

 

Reduced Stress

 

Seven out of ten of U.S. adults reported feeling stressed or anxious in a recent survey by the American Psychological Association. Outdoor exercise has been shown to reduce stress in individuals. In some cases, just five minutes of aerobic exercise can make a difference. When you exercise, your body naturally produces endorphins. The release of endorphins helps reduce any feelings of anxiety you make experience stemming from stress. They also help you sleep better. A win-win for all!

 

Better Memory Retention

 

As we age, our memory retention naturally declines. Researchers have discovered that exercising after a memory task boosts the retention of information and stimulates brain patterns that are associated with improved memory. While the exact correlation is still unknown, researchers theorize that memory is stabilized from protein producing neurotransmitters which are released during exercise.

 

Improved Sense of Well-Being

 

Almost anyone who exercises reports an overwhelmingly positive sense of well-being post workout. This is likely due to the higher levels of energy that are obtained through physical activity. Those who exercise outside receive the additional benefit of sunlight, which stimulates our bodies’ natural production of vitamin D. Higher levels of vitamin D are associated with healthy calcium absorption, better immunity and even lower levels of depression.

 

The prevalence of both physical and behavioral health conditions are on the rise. The installation of outdoor exercise equipment in neighborhood and community parks provides an accessible outlet for residents to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Pro Playgrounds offers a wide variety of outdoor exercise equipment for all your fitness needs. Designed for constant commercial use, our outdoor fitness systems withstand the harshest weather and are backed by an industry leading warranty. Whether you need one piece of outdoor fitness equipment or ten, our experts are here to help. Contact us today!