The Mental Health Benefits of Outdoor Activities | Decathlon Thailand

The Mental Health Benefits of Outdoor Activities

Outdoor activity is essential for mental well-being, and this became clear during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While we were in lockdown, many of us felt a drop in mood and energy. In fact, the pandemic led to a sharp increase in depression and anxiety. Now, it’s more important than ever to take care of our mental health, and being active outdoors is a great way to do that.

In this article, we’ll explain the benefits, and tell you how to add outdoor activities to your routine.

5 Reasons to Go Outdoors for Your Mental Health

Here’s why you should get more outdoor activity in your routine, and how it will affect your mental well-being.

1. Boost Your Mood

Feeling blue? Going outdoors and being active could be the cure you need. Outdoor activity releases endorphins, which lift your mood and make you happier. It also releases serotonin, which can help to reduce anxiety and depression. This is particularly important for those who experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a type of depression related to lack of sunlight and change in seasons and weather.

During lockdowns in the pandemic, did you find that your sleeping routine was poor? That’s because spending too much time indoors meant that we weren’t exposed to enough sunlight. Going outside and getting some sun will improve your circadian rhythm and set your body clock, helping you to get into a proper sleeping routine.  Make sure to get a little sunlight each day, and you’ll find that you feel more tired at night, fall asleep more quickly, and get better quality sleep. 

The sounds of nature can be soothing. Whether it’s the sound of trickling water, singing birds, or trees swaying in the breeze, listening to nature can help to wash away the stress of daily life. Spending time connecting with nature can reduce production of cortisol (the stress-inducing hormone) and even lower your blood pressure.

4. Connect with Others

Outdoor activity is a great way to be social. You can join a walking group, go on a hike with friends, or take part in an outdoor fitness bootcamp. No matter which type of activity you prefer, you’ll be able to connect with people around you and make new friends.  Some people prefer to enjoy nature alone, and that’s OK. Taking a long walk by yourself can be a great way to unwind.

5. Increase Creativity

Have you ever felt like you had a creative block?  Whether you’re a student struggling to write an essay, an office worker sitting in front of a screen, or an artist who needs some inspiration, getting outside can help you to get your work done. Sometimes, no matter how long you sit at your desk, you can’t get anything done. In those times, it’s a good idea to give your brain a break and get some outdoor activity. That way, you’ll feel rejuvenated when you come back to your desk.

The Mental Health Benefits of Outdoor Activities | Decathlon Thailand

Outdoor Activities to for Mental Health

Now that you know all the great reasons to explore the great outdoors, it’s time to get started! If you’re not sure which activities are right for you, don’t worry. We’re here to help. Here are some of the best outdoor activities we recommend at Decathlon Thailand

The Mental Health Benefits of Outdoor Activities | Decathlon Thailand

Outdoor activity can be as simple as going for a walk and getting a breath of fresh air. You could visit your local park, or even just take a walk around your neighborhood. If you make an effort to do this daily, you’ll notice a significant boost in your mood and energy levels.

The Mental Health Benefits of Outdoor Activities | Decathlon Thailand

Go Hiking

Want something a little more adventurous? Go hiking! Thailand is full of hiking destinations, including vast national parks with trails for various experience levels. You can go on a half-day hike, a full-day hike, or even go camping overnight.

The Mental Health Benefits of Outdoor Activities | Decathlon Thailand

Go Running

Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise, and many runners say that they enjoy the freedom of the open road. That’s why running outside can feel more satisfying than running on a treadmill.

The Mental Health Benefits of Outdoor Activities | Decathlon Thailand

Join an Outdoor Fitness Class

While the weather in Thailand isn’t always ideal for exercising outdoors, there are plenty of classes you can join. There’s rooftop yoga classes, fitness boot camp classes in parks, and even outdoor gyms. Plenty of public parks have free exercise equipment you can use, too.
Did you know that selected Decathlon stores also offer outdoor fitness classes? Our standalone stores have sports playgrounds where you can join classes like Zumba, boxing, yoga, and much more. Contact your local store for details of how to join.

The Mental Health Benefits of Outdoor Activities | Decathlon Thailand

Play a Team Sport

Tennis, badminton, basketball, football and futsal are all sports that can be played outside. Head to your local field or court and play with friends  or join a team.

Don’t Forget the Sunscreen!

Before you go outside, there’s one essential item you mustn’t forget — sunscreen!

It’s vital that you protect your skin from UV rays. Otherwise, you might suffer from sunburn, dehydration, or even heatstroke. At Decathlon Thailand, we’ve got you covered. We have a range of sun protection products to keep you protected all day long. This includes spray-on sunblock, SPF 50 sun protection cream, and more. If you forget to apply, you can use our after sun gel to soothe your skin.
To make sun protection even easier, some of our apparel has built-in UPF protection. Browse our range online to find what you need.