Natural environments with plant life (forests, urban parks, meadows).
Green spaces may also be incorporated into urban areas.
Outdoor visible water spaces, natural or man-made (lakes, rivers, coastlines, streams).
Activities can be land or water-based.
Physical activity in natural environments with vegetation (a forest or a park with lush tree density).
Green exercise packs a double punch- your body and mind benefit from exercise with the additonal health outcomes from green spaces.
Green spaces offer a multi-sensory occurrence that may reduce cognitive load and enhance self-perceived mood. Research findings have reported that physical activity in green spaces may reduce stress markers, improve attention and feelings of well-being, induce short-term anxiety reduction, and much more.
Evidence suggests that persons living close to blue spaces may have increased reports of physical activity. There is also evidence suggesting the potential of outdoor blue spaces for eliciting greater perceived feelings of well-being and reduced feelings of psychological stress.
Health Enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA): Being physically active (PA) in a manner that supports your body's functional capacity and health (power walking, running, climbing, yoga, swimming, cycling, tennis, landscaping, etc). Increasing PA can help reduce sedentary behaviours which reduce chronic disease risk and boost endorphins to feel better. Every move counts!
Stress Management: Practicing relaxation techniques from various modalities to help cope with intense emotions, build resiliency, gratitude, and compassion for improved well-being.
Forest Bathing [Shinrin-Yoku]: Immersing our five senses in the wonder of nature while acknowledging its importance to our health. Slowing down in natural environments can reduce cognitive load, induce mental restoration, reduce blood pressure and increase feelings of vigor. Inhaling the phytoncides emitted from trees can increase NK cell activity and boost our immune response.
Physical inactivity and prolonged periods of sitting increase the risk of non-communicable diseases. Upstream health prevention efforts are important tools for health sustainability.
Reducing sedentary lifestyles is beyond sole individual responsibility, there are various environmental and structural factors such as urban design, greenspace quality, and green infrastructure, which can attenuate physical activity opportunities.
Increasing population-based physical activity levels should be viewed as a collaborative approach including local government, urban planning, healthy public policy, transportation sectors, occupational health, community-based groups, public perception, and more.