Take Your Workout Alfresco to Lift Your Mood Fact: Natural light elevates people's mood. Another fact: Those who exercise report feeling calmer, more energized and less stressed. Add these two findings together, and you have what researchers are calling "green exercise." A study at the University of Essex finds that those who are active outdoors notice improved mood and self-esteem within five minutes of being outside. Add a feel-good element like cleaning up your community into the mix, and you basically have a recipe for giddiness.
Volunteer efforts like beach, river or lake clean-ups combine all three elements -- plus, researchers found that being near a body of water enhances the mood-boosting properties of green exercise.
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