Jogging in a forest is twice as beneficial to one’s mental health as a workout in a gym, according to researchers at Glasgow University.
A report in the London Telegraph stated that, “Researchers found that anything from a stroll in the park to a run through woodland can have a positive effect on people suffering from depression and anxiety. The study also showed that the positive effect on people’s mental health was 50 percent more than they might expect from going to the gym.”
Professor Richard Mitchell studied some 2,000 physically active people in the 2008 Scottish Health Survey and was “surprised” to find “around a 50 percent improvement in people’s mental health if they were physically active in the natural environment, compared to those who weren’t,” the Telegraph reported. The professor said, “Being in areas that have lots of trees and grassy areas help to calm us down and obviously a forest has this.”
He continued, “I wasn’t surprised by the findings that exercise in natural environments is good for your mental health, but I was surprised by just how much better it is for your mental health to exercise in a green place like a forest, than in other places like a gym. The message to doctors, planners and policy makers is that these places need protecting and promoting.”