8 Outdoor Activities for Relieving Stress and Improve Mood

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8 Outdoor Activities for Relieving Stress and Improve Mood

Engaging in fun outdoor activities is proven to help improve adults’ mental health, including those with mental disabilities. Research reveals that hobbies done for 20 to 90 minutes for 8 to 12 weeks improve mood and reduce stress. Here are eight outdoor activities you can engage in to relieve stress and lighten your mood.

1. Walking

The most convenient and cheap outdoor activity is walking since you can walk anywhere and requires no equipment. Moreover, age is not a limit to walking, and you can gradually increase the walking distance as you improve. If you are more experienced, you can jog or run.

By going out, you get rid of any stress or worries. You also get to exercise your muscles as you enjoy the fresh air outside. Walking relieves joint pains and anxiety and is helpful to people who have rheumatoid arthritis. You get these benefits while spending little effort; get outside and walk to your set destination.

2. Biking

Biking is a fun activity that allows you to engage your muscles. You become detached from all the struggles you face when you bike ride. When riding a bike, stick to the designated areas such as bike paths to avoid traffic accidents. Some of the benefits of bike riding are a clear mind and the thrill. When you are a team, you enjoy the thrill of racing and exploring the area.

Biking in leafy areas allows you to get immersed in nature, a low-cost therapy. The fast-moving air around you causes you to inhale more profoundly, relaxing mentally and physically.

3. Swimming

Swimming is not just relaxing; it is fun. It lightens the mood, controls weight, and improves mental health. When swimming, your spine becomes relaxed, and as a result, the stress you might be having disappears. In addition to relieving stress, swimming also relieves back pain. Doctors advocate swimming on three to five occasions per week for half an hour to an hour-long session due to its health benefits.

4. Camping

When you go camping, you enjoy the fun of exploring new places. It relieves you of your stress and stimulates your mind, improving your mental health. It can be enjoyable since camping is usually done outside at night where you get to enjoy natural surroundings. While at it, you can decide to be adventurous and explore the nearby rocky hills in the upcountry.

5. Water Rafting

Water rafting is a fun and healthy way of enjoying nature as you navigate through the river terrain. Moreover, you enjoy the crisp fresh air, the sound of moving water, and the beautiful landscape along the river’s course. The rapids lighten your mood and increase your adrenaline making this experience unforgettable.

The benefits of rafting are significant; people suffering from anxiety, PTSD, and insomnia have reported improvements in their conditions. You don’t have to travel far to enjoy the water, simply search “white water rafting in American River” or anywhere specific to your locale.

6. Hiking

Hiking is an effective exercise that checks on your health and stress. Since hiking is an outdoor activity under the scorching sun, you need to carry plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Set aside an entire day for hiking away from the city to escape from the stress in your life. It brings you some tranquillity, draws you closer to nature, and helps you know more about your body’s capabilities. Moreover, you enjoy some sun and crisp fresh air.

7. Outdoor Yoga

You can leverage some yoga positions that effectively relieve pain and stress. Fortunately, if you suffer from neck pain, radiculopathy, and abdominal pain, some positions help you. You can easily stretch your hips and piriformis muscles since such stretches are easy to learn. When you do these stretches every day, you see great results in little to no time.

8. Gardening

Research shows that gardening alongside exercising are some activities that help people with mental health problems. Escape from the stress in your life and save grocery money by doing some gardening in your backyard. You only require some patience and pay attention to your plants.


Make it a habit of trying out outdoor activities to check on your stress and mental health and feel better. Outdoor activities improve sleep quality and are ideal for your physical health. Try out the above activities and witness significant changes to your mood and health, eventually relieving stress.

Featured Image Source: Pexels
Tracie Johnson

Freelance writer, New Jersey native, & Penn State University alumni.

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