Beat the winter blues

Written by Josh Hoodless

Are you spending more time inside to stay warm?Had the flu or a cold this winter? Feeling a bit down and looking forward to Summer? That’s even more reason to get outside in our cooler months to exercise.

With the physiological benefits of direct sun light and the release of endorphins while exercising it’s the perfect combination to help eradicate those winter blues.

Guess what? It’s absolutely free and it doesn’t have to be that hard. You can get the surprising physical and mental health benefits of exercising outdoors by just being outdoors. Doing it in the Queensland winter months means no overheating or dehydration.

A recent meta-analysis study on this outside topic was carried out by the University of East Anglia in 2018 involving 290 million people across 20 countries including Australia. The study revealed that exposure to the outdoors reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, stress and high blood pressure. These health benefits were proven to be significant when just spending time in nature at a lower intensity.

The mental health benefits from just being out in green areas can help you feel amazing. Something we all need during the colder months. Being in the gym is great but reductions in anger and depression are higher when physically active outdoors compared to inside. The improved mood from endorphin release when moving your body, together with vitamin D from the sun, improves mood regulation. No wonder my wife is always trying to drag me for a run on the beach for in winter. She’s Canadian, so going outside to exercise in winter is unfamiliar to her and something that’s taken for granted by us.

The original custodians of the land definitely have a strong connection to it for many reasons. Their cultural, spiritual, language, family and identity concerning the land can also include a healthy connection to it.

For me, there’s something grounding about standing barefoot on the grass or sand being connected to the earth and feeling healthier for it. Turn that winter frown upside down and get active outside on the Fraser Coast.