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Nature Cures

New research shows a link between mood and outdoor exercise.

man running in the forest

— Birte Von Kampen

To fix what ails you, take your workout outside. New research from England’s University of  Essex finds that just five minutes of "green exercise"—cycling, gardening, fishing—can boost your mood and self-esteem.

The study jibes with previous research showing that outdoor walks battle depression better than mall walks do. Add to that the other benefits of outdoor activity—greater exposure to health-promoting vitamin D (from the sun), enhanced cognitive functioning, increased compassion (test subjects were more considerate after viewing images of nature)—and more time outside could mean spending less time in a doctor’s office.

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