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Benefits to exercising outdoors

EXETER, England, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- There are unique benefits to exercising or physical activity outdoors, researchers in Britain say.

A systematic review by a team at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry -- run in partnership with the University of Exeter and the University of Plymouth -- and colleagues analyzed existing studies including 11 randomized and non-randomized control trials incorporating information from 833 adults.

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The study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, found that most studies showed an improvement in mental well-being compared with exercising indoors.

Exercising in natural environments is associated with greater feelings of revitalization, increased energy and positive engagement, together with decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression. The study participants also reported greater enjoyment and satisfaction with outdoor activity and stated that they were more likely to repeat the activity at a later date, the study says.

However, none of the studies measured the effects of physical activity on physical well-being, or the effect of natural environments on sticking to exercise.

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