Is Exercising Outside Better for Depression? Eh, Maybe…
Warning: this study is incredibly small. It is so small that we do not want to make any assumptions about the accuracy. But it does say some things that make sense to us, so we’ll talk about it anyway.
If you exercise in nature, it may make you happier than working out indoors.
The researchers took 14 subjects who were receiving treatment for clinical depression. They had all of them try three different approaches for three hours, according to this article:
In one, they stayed sedentary, sitting around inside reading books or playing board games. In another, they used an indoor exercise bike for an hour. And in a third session, they took a walk in some very nice-sounding greenery outside the building.
And by the end all of them said that yes, getting out and getting some exercise was the one that both helped with their depression and also gave them more energy.
If you can’t make it outside, whether it’s too rainy, snowy or sunny, a good indoor sweat will still do you good.