Does walking outdoors, even for just five minutes a day, improve health and well being?

Startlingly, a new British study, as reported by the BBC, suggests that just five minutes of outdoor exercise provides a measurable health benefit:

UK researchers looked at evidence from 1,250 people in 10 studies and found fast improvements in mood and self-esteem. . . .

The research looked at many different outdoor activities including walking, gardening, cycling, fishing, boating, horse-riding and farming in locations such as a park, garden or nature trail.

The biggest effect was seen within just five minutes.

With longer periods of time exercising in a green environment, the positive effects were clearly apparent but were of a smaller magnitude, the study found.

Looking at men and women of different ages, the researchers found the health changes – physical and mental – were particularly strong in the young and the mentally-ill.

And, a science website, reports that cardiovascular fitness can be improved, and the risk of diabetes reduced, by brief, high intensity workouts:

A regular high-intensity, three-minute workout has a significant effect on the body’s ability to process sugars. Research published in the open access journal BMC Endocrine Disorders shows that a brief but intense exercise session every couple of days may be the best way to cut the risk of diabetes.

According to the article:

The subjects in this trial used exercise bikes to perform a quick sprint at their highest possible intensity.

Hmm. Five minutes of outdoor walking combined with three minutes of sprinting.

No more excuses not to exercise?

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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1 Response to Does walking outdoors, even for just five minutes a day, improve health and well being?

  1. If we can’t sprint or slow jog. Try brisk walking. It will improve your cardio.

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