Thursday, April 21, 2011

The surprising health benefits of getting outside - Yahoo! News

The next time someone tells you to “go take a hike,” don’t get offended. They may simply be expressing their concern for your well-being.

A study out of the University of Rochester suggests an outdoor romp in a natural setting — even for 10 minutes — can significantly improve your mood, increase your energy levels and make you a nicer person.

“Data shows that even 10 minutes outside will increase your feelings of wellness and vitality as long as you’re paying attention to nature,” says Dr. Richard Ryan, one the study’s authors. “People feel they’re more autonomous and integrated when they’re outside, more in touch with themselves, [so their increased niceness] is partly a reflection on that.”

Ryan, whose research focuses on personality development and well-being, started exploring the relationship between nature and mood when participants in his clinical trials reported higher levels of energy and vitality after spending time outside.

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