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Exercise and Being in Nature Can Improve Mental Health

Updated: Jul 3, 2022



There is significant evidence that regular exercise can enhance overall cognitive functioning. And there is even some evidence it can play a role in reducing alcohol and drug use as well as smoking. Studies have also shown that exercise can also be a valuable tool in managing stress. Even just being outside in nature can be very valuable for many people dealing with stress.


Unfortunately, these last several years have been very difficult on many of us and it’s often been a challenge to get motivated to engage in a regular exercise regimen. For those living in parts of the Pacific Northwest, some of us are very lucky to be able to have large amounts of outdoors to for hiking, biking, running. kayaking, etc. much of the year (if you don’t mind working out in the rain).


Personally, I try to regularly go for a 45-60 minute hike in our local woods to help deal with the stress of work. It also forces me to get off of the computer and move around rather than just sitting all day in front of a screen. But even if you don’t have a local woods, just walking in a park, sitting next to a pond or even lie down on a grassy hill can make you feel better and less stressed. Most large cities often have small parks that can feel close to nature.


HERE is a great resource on the health benefits of spending time in nature:


If you are having difficulty starting a workout or just do more outdoors stuff, hypnotherapy might be able to help. Hypnotherapy can get you motivated or address any fears that might be holding you back from doing those things that can help keep you healthy.




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