Mental Health Benefits of Green Exercise (3)
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How To Improve Your Mental Health with Green Exercise

Why Mental Health is Important

Mental health is so important and yet is often overlooked, especially in American culture. There has been a rapid decline in the state of mental health amongst Americans. We must make ourselves aware of mental illnesses and disorders and be proactive in ensuring our own mental health is in order.

In the United States alone approximately 52.9 million people suffer from some sort of mental illness or condition that affects their day-to-day lives.

There are actions we can take to combat the effects of this terrible phenomenon. One of those things is engaging in some sort of outdoor physical activity on a regular basis. Being outdoors in itself provides numerous health benefits and incorporating some form of physical activity only adds to those benefits.

Not only has green exercise been proven to help with improving mood and reducing stress, effectively improving one’s mental condition, but it has also proved effective in the treatment of certain mental disorders and illnesses.

The Intercession of Mental Health and Green Exercise

Green exercise has proved effective in treating numerous mental illnesses including;

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Grief
  • Autism


Depression is a mental disorder characterized by low self-worth, feelings of guilt, loss of interest, sadness, loss of pleasure, grief, poor sleep, loss of appetite or overeating, feeling tired or fatigued, and poor concentration.


Anxiety is defined as a state of apprehension, fear, and uneasiness, from the anticipation of a future threatening event.


Anger is defined as a feeling of displeasure or hostility.


A feeling of deep mental anguish.


Autism is a mental disorder characterized by the inability to engage in normal social interactions and an abnormal level of self-absorption.


There are an estimated 21.0 million Americans suffering from depression Today.

Green exercise has proven to be very effective in the treatment of individuals suffering from depression.

Due to the benefits of Green Exercise such as improving mood, alleviating stress, and alleviating negative emotions, it serves to effectively alleviate depression.

Here is a great resource for a study conducted on the topic that you may find interesting.


There are multiple forms of anxiety including; Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety, Phobias, and Generalized Anxiety.

Anxiety can be extremely detrimental to an individual as it affects day-to-day life and activities. Anxiety can cause rifts in relationships, work problems, and drug-dependency issues.

Green exercise helps to calm anxiety by reducing stress levels in the body while boosting our endorphins leaving us in a good mood.


Being outdoors tends to put us in a state of relaxation and peace. This alone has the ability to calm us down and subside anger. Ever heard the expression “take a walk”? It’s often used as a de-escalation technique to calm the angry individual down.

Physical activity also shares the benefit of subsiding anger. When we exercise it reduces our stress-hormone levels, namely Cortisol and Adrenaline. This naturally elevates our mood and reduces our body’s stress.


Grief can affect our health in a variety of ways including; loss of sleep, anxiety, fatigue, nervousness, loss of appetite, etc.

Grief can sometimes seem like an impossible thing to get through and that feeling is only amplified when the grief is prolonged over time.

The endorphins released when exercising helps to relieve negative emotions and boost our moods.

Being outdoors in the environment, especially in areas by water helps to promote feelings of peace and alleviate feelings of discomfort.


Some symptoms of Autism can be treated with Green Exercise and studies have shown that it proves to be quite effective.

Exercise helps to boost self-confidence, increase concentration, and reduce anxiety.

Exercise in an outdoors setting is also extremely beneficial amongst the youth as it boosts academic performance.

Check out this Amazing Article for more information on the correlation between exercise and Autism.

Mental Health Benefits of Green Exercise

  • Boosts mood, energy, and well being
  • Superior Air Quality
  • Vitamin D benefits
  • Helps reduce stress
  • Alleviates tension
  • Alleviates confusion
  • Alleviates depression
  • Alleviates negative emotions
  • Alleviates anger
Mental Health Benefits of Green Exercise Blog Graphic
21% of American adults experienced mental illness in 2020.

Michagan State University conducted a study on individuals diagnosed with and suffering from mental health issues including, mood disorders, substance abuse, and anxiety. The researchers concluded that the individuals who completed the program had experienced a reduction in previous symptoms such as, distress, interpersonal difficulties, and an increased sense of purpose while participating in the intervention.

It’s clear that Green Exercise is an effective method of treating mental illness as well as boosting our moods and alleviating stress. Incorporating regular green exercise into your routine can be extremely beneficial for you and for your family.

Our children are being more affected than ever before by the hundreds of outlets vying for their attention. The tv, cell phones, desktops, laptops, and so on have put our children in a very dangerous cycle of rotating screens and replacing the real world with a digital one.

Getting out and doing something as a family can be a great way to combat this cycle. A game of baslketball, football, or volleyball can include the whole family and get them involved in physical activity. If sports aren’t your thing, going on a nature walk, hiking, camping, or even a trip to the beach can also serve as great physical activities. The important thing is to get outside and be active.

Wrap It Up

To sum it up green exercise is a great way to improve your mental health. It provides benefits such as alleviating stress and anxiety, boosting energy and mood, and reducing feelings of anger, grief, and depression.

Green Exercise has proven to be an effective treatment in regards to some mental health illnesses and disorders. Some of those disorders include; depression, anxiety, grief, anger, and autism.


  • Pretty J, Peacock J, Sellens M, Griffin M. The mental and physical health outcomes of green exercise. Int J Environ Health Res. 2005 Oct;15(5):319-37. doi: 10.1080/09603120500155963. PMID: 16416750. From <>
  • Pretty J, Peacock J, Sellens M, Griffin M. The mental and physical health outcomes of green exercise. Int J Environ Health Res. 2005 Oct;15(5):319-37. doi: 10.1080/09603120500155963. PMID: 16416750. From <>
  • Barton J, Pretty J. What is the best dose of nature and green exercise for improving mental health? A multi-study analysis. Environ Sci Technol. 2010 May 15;44(10):3947-55. doi: 10.1021/es903183r. PMID: 20337470. From <>

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