Physical and Mental Health are codependent.
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Mental health benefits
Reduced anxiety and happier moods
When you exercise, your brain chemistry changes through the release of endorphins (sometimes called ‘feel good’ hormones), which can calm anxiety and lift your mood
Exercise also helps to reduce feelings of tension, depression, anger and confusion.
Reduced feelings of stress
Some research suggests exercise promotes neurological changes in stress response pathways.
Improved cognitive function
Research shows that moderate exercise can temporarily improve our cognitive functions, including better attention, memory, decision-making and impulse control, even just from exercising once.
When you start to see your fitness levels improves, it can give your self-esteem a big boost. The sense of achievement you get from learning new skills and achieving your goals can also help you feel better about yourself and lift your mood. Improved self-esteem also has a protective effect that increases life satisfaction and can make you more resilient to feeling stressed.
Reduced risk of depression
There is evidence showing that both men and women, who are more physically active, face lower levels of depression. One study found that increasing your activity levels from doing nothing to exercising at least three times a week reduces your risk of depression by almost 20%.
不少研究指出較好動的人，不論男女，都有較少抑鬱的趨勢。其中一個研究指出如果從零運動轉成每星期運動最少三次，將可以減低接近 20% 的抑鬱風險。
Physical health benefits
Reduces risk of some diseases
Health experts suggest that being more active can reduce your risk of developing a stroke or heart disease by 10%, and type 2 diabetes by 30–40%.
Regulates levels of cortisol
Cortisol, also known as the "stress hormone", is released when we face stress. Chronic stress can lead to a wide range of health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and a weaker immune system.
Your body is working more when you are active, which is good for your organs. For example, a stronger heart will help you have lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure.
Weight-bearing exercises will strengthen your bones and build your muscle, which can reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis.
As your body adapts to increased activity levels you get a natural energy boost, which can make you feel less tired. Research says that even low-intensity activities, e.g. yoga, can help with your energy levels.
Many people find they are able to sleep better at night after having been more active during the day.
Benefits of nature
Research from Trailwatch showed that nearly half of the respondents hiked an average duration of 2.5 hours in the country park, which reaches WHO’s recommendation of physical activity levels in one go.
Trailwatch 研究指出近半數的使用者平均於郊野公園行山 2.5 小時，僅一次已經符合世界衛生組織的建議運動量。
Being exposed to natural environment reduces self-reported stress levels, cortisol levels and blood pressure
Exposure to nature restores your brain, which improves cognitive functions such as short-term memory, attention, problem-solving, and greater creativity.
Improve mood and self-esteem
Research shows that people exposed to the natural environment when exercising reported a better mood and self-esteem, which is crucial for maintaining mental-wellbeing.
Reconnect with people
Visiting country parks is an increasingly popular social activity - it is a great way to connect with loved ones.
Shirin-Yoku (also known as forest bathing), where individuals immerse themselves in nature mindfully, using their five senses, is found to reduce feelings of hostility, stress, depression, anxiety and improve overall well-being. Studies also show that forest bathing promotes restorative functions to our brain.
Fast and easy
There is evidence that shows just 2 hours in nature per week can reduce depression and anxiety, lower blood pressure, improve creativity and cognitive abilities, and lower your risk or other chronic diseases.
Take a break from the hustle, and COVID-19
Being physically away from the urban, dense city allows people to temporarily escape from the business and fast-paced living environment, and enjoy the present. It is also a great way to take a break from COVID-19 stress. Country parks recorded over 12 million visits back during SARS.