It was a wet and rainy weekend here in the pacific northwest. Even having been living out here for six years at this point, the rainy season never gets any easier – particularly since it often extends from late October through June. During my more sedentary days when I first moved out here, a rainy long weekend would have been pretty depressing. But in recent years I have discovered the secret to accepting, and even feeling good about the weather. And, better still, it was just validated by science.
According to a new study published in the Environmental Science and Technology journal, improving your mood and self-esteem may be as simple as spending a few minutes exercising outside. And in this case, I really do mean a few. The study from the University of Essex examined the effect of walking, running, and other forms of outdoor exercise on 1,250 people. The most interesting part of their research, especially for those of us with little time, is that they observed the most profound effect on mood within the first five minutes.
What does that mean for you and me? It means that, as hard as it might be to motivate to do, you should go outside and get some exercise. Walk around the block. Take a short jog. Throw the ball around, or chase a squirrel. I promise you’ll feel better for it. I know I do.
What about you? What good strategies have you found to motivate to get out in bad weather?