Lifestyle: Is Escaping To The Countryside The Key To Health +Well-Being?


It may sound like quite a depressing subject, but I recently heard that The Countryside Recreation Network had reported that, by the year 2020, depression and depression related illnesses will be the greatest source of ill health.

I feel that so many people are effected by depression and anxiety, yet it’s the main health issue that can be kept hidden, making it so much more worrying. Luckily, I’m not a sufferer, but I know many people who are close to me who have suffered on and off, and it’s a topic that I feel strongly about.

There’s a positive to where I’m going with this, so bear with me! Thankfully, current research links exercise in natural, green spaces to good health, as well as psychological well-being. So to summarise that: the more time spent being active and indulging in exercise whilst being outdoors in open green spaces, the more chance you have of improving your well-being.

I always feel happier in the Spring and Summer months, when I can walk around outside without being cooped up indoors, feeling cold, boxed in and miserable. 

The results have suggested that nature helps us recover from existing stresses, protects us from future stresses, and help us to concentrate and think more clearly. In addition, staying in shape is strongly correlated with self esteem.  As the weather heats up, many of us plan to get in shape for the summer…

Whether it is a question of body transformation or simply to tone up, our lives and needs can differ substantially and everyone has the right to feel good.

Parklife: Outdoor Activity

It’s been proven that physical activity helps the body stay mentally strong. Exercising outdoors can massively improve mental health by decreasing the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

For me, I feel at my ultimate best – mentally – after I’ve spent a weekend in Wales, close to Snowdonia, with the mountain views and the clear skies. I love nothing more than taking on an intense hike, ideally climbing the mountains and feeling like I’m on top of the world… 

Unfortunately, not everyone finds it easy to get motivated to exercise without a little helping hand. Likewise, it can be difficult to work out how best to exercise without the equipment. Nevertheless, there are opportunities to socialise with others through community park runs and outdoor yoga classes.

If, on the other hand, you require a personalised plan that continuously challenges you, then you may need to enlist the help of a trainer. It’s still possible even if you want to keep outside the traditional gym environment.

Personal Training

So whats the deal with personal training when it comes to feeling better about yourself, and improving your well-being?

Well, a personal trainer can set tailored goals for you, as well as come up with new challenges that really benefit your level and can push you further than if you were on your own. As well as gym based trainers, there are now private trainers who will come and meet you at the location of your choice, as well as online trainers.

Why not have some outdoor classes with one, now the weather and outdoor conditions are so much better? You’ll benefit from daylight and all those uplifting factors.

A trainer will focus on all aspects of your physical health, recording your fitness goals as you progress.  By keeping up to date with the current research such as the rapid, positive effects of undertaking high intensity interval training (HIIT), they pass this knowledge on to you when you work on your schedule together. 

The online personal trainer is particularly convenient for busy people or if you have to travel a lot for work or pleasure. You can even check in with your trainer via a webcam and get advice via email when you need it.

Invest in Yourself

Investing in yourself is potentially the most important thing you’ll ever do, I promise you. Paying for your future health is an investment that is always worth making, too. Fitter people have more efficient immune systems, so they are better equipped when it comes to fighting off those viruses that go around.

Wearable technology combined with fitness apps, whereby activity can be recorded, is well worth buying if you’re a bit of a ‘facts’ person as it can really help you to see the benefits to your heart rate in real-time.

The extensive fitness DVD collection on last year’s to do list may not ever see daylight, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to. What is certain is the days of going to the gym on your own don’t have to be the way forward, especially if you’re suffering form depression signs.

It’s amazing how finding the perfect green space for you to get outdoors and be active can really help… 

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