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10-Minute Natural Stress Relief

Time in nature improves physical and mental well-being.

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If you’re feeling stressed after being quarantined, why not try being active in nature a few times per week? New findings from a Cornell University study show that as little as 10 minutes outside in a natural setting can improve mood, focus, blood pressure and heart rate for people between the ages of 15 and 30. Researchers reviewed 14 studies to determine a minimum amount of time in nature that would positively affect mental health and well-being for college-aged students.

The study was published in Frontiers in Psychology (2020; doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02942).

While this study focused on young people, other research suggests results are similar for people of all ages. In general, the health benefits of ÔÇťgreen exerciseÔÇŁ are superior to those of indoor physical activity.

See also: Green Exercise: How It Benefits You


Shirley Eichenberger-Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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