Have you ever wondered why you feel so much more elated after a long walk in the country, a game of golf or any other outdoor activity? Well apparently just being in the open air is good for us.
One of the main reasons we should take notice of this is because the ‘great outdoors’ has really positive psychological benefits for us. The evidence suggests that it improves our psychological wellbeing and also has many physical health benefits. These include helping us to reduce blood pressure and burn calories. It looks as though some ‘green exercise’ could be just what the doctor ordered.
The easiest way to understand this is your general outlook on life. Of course if you look at the scientific approach to this it is rather more complicated. But essentially what we’re talking about is feeling good.
In fact it is a well known fact that exercise among other things releases endorphins. These are natural chemicals released by the brain to give us a feeling of elation sometimes referred to as an ‘endorphin rush’.
As a nation with a population which is growing ‘fatter’, exercise is one of the best and least painful ways of losing or controlling your weight.
- Dieting can be really difficult for some people but exercise is great for burning off those calories
- Walking a round of golf, 18 holes of course, you could burn around 1,400 – 1,500 calories over the seven or so miles
- Pushing a golf cart will burn about the same amount over the same distance but you can halve the amount you burn to around 800 if you take a cart
- A game of tennis can help you to burn somewhere between 300 and 500 calories per hour
- Football, rugby and netball all burn around 500 calories an hour
But remember any exercise is better than none to keep your weight under control and your heart healthy.
What Type of Exercise?
Any exercise is good for you. Whether it’s your favourite sport or just a gentle walk, it is all good. Of course something that raises your adrenalin levels and gets your heart pumping is good for your heart.
Combine it with something you can do outdoors and you add that psychological wellbeing to the mix.
It’s much the same story to keep your blood pressure in good health: a healthy diet and regular exercise. Smoking is definitely off the menu – it’s bad for everything. Of course cutting down on salt and alcohol also help!
How will you choose which is the best exercise for you? If you’ve been watching the Test Match or revelled in Justin Rose winning the US Open earlier this year, then why not join a sports club or your local golf club?
Rob Rudd enjoys finding new ways to keep fit. He likes to make time for a round of golf and regularly shares its health benefits with anyone and everyone who will listen.