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How your backyard can improve your health


Spending time outside has multiple mental health benefits. Research has found that exposure to natural light can lead to reduced stress, anxiety and depression.1 When in nature, people often find they are also in a more positive mood, in comparison to when they are spending more time indoors.

Luckily, you don’t have to travel far to reap the benefits of being outside. Simply spending time in your backyard can help.

Find out more below…

More time outside = increased sun exposure

Increased sun exposure has been shown to improve your mood and overall health.

Whilst it is important to practice sun safety when spending time in your backyard, exposure to sunlight has been confirmed to increase the brain’s release of a serotonin. According to a source, serotonin is a neurotransmitter associated with boosting the mood and helping a person feel calm and focused. Spending about 15 to 20 minutes outdoors can increase serotonin.2

Exposure to sunlight on a regular basis also helps keep our circadian rhythm regulated. This makes it easier to go to sleep at night and get better sleep. A lack of sleep can have detrimental impacts to our mental and physical health, while a good night’s sleep can help boost our mental health.

Being outdoors encourages you to stay active

Being outdoors encourages us to be active, and physical activity releases endorphins that naturally make us feel happier and more energised.

Whether you have a small or big backyard, there are an abundance of ways you can utilise your outdoor space for exercise throughout the day.

Yoga or high intensity (HIT) workouts can be easily done in your backyard, no matter its size. As little to no equipment is needed for HIT exercises such as burpees or planks, all you’ll need is a flat surface, such as a timber deck or artificial lawn (hyperlink to product pages). And a yoga or exercise mat for extra cushioning.

If you have a pool with jets, you could also use these to your benefit during your workouts. A little-known fact is that you can make swimming laps in your pool more effective by swimming against your jets.

Studies also show that the colour of our backyard is important during workouts.3 Being surrounded by green can improve your mood and boost your motivation when exercising. So, whether you have low maintenance artificial lawn, or an abundance of potted leafy plants in your backyard, seeing green is certainly a good thing.

Backyards can be used as a sanctuary

Taking a break can be extremely beneficial for your mental health. Simply taking a few deep breaths and sparing half an hour out of your day to relax and have some ‘you’ time can be enough to de-stress and feel positive.

Practicing meditation in your outdoor space can be a very calming exercise—especially if you’re surrounded by subtle sounds of wildlife or have a soothing water feature. Meditation, if done correctly, can address stress, reduce anxiety and decrease blood pressure. The key to productive meditation is to truly focus and block out the outside world. So, we recommend finding a quiet space in your backyard to do this, whether it be on a grassed area or an outdoor deck, with outdoor blinds to shelter you from the rain, wind and harsh UV rays.

Another popular way of relaxing in your backyard is by gardening. Gardening can be an incredibly soothing and gratifying exercise. There are some studies that even say gardening is just as good for you as going to the gym.4 Gardening can also teach you valuable lessons of patience and provide you with a meaningful connection to nature.

Growing your own fruits and vegetables can also positively affect your overall health, as it encourages you to eat healthier and fresher food. Planting scented herbs like lavender and chamomile can also help you to relax.

Are you ready to renovate?

Australian Outdoor Living is passionate about helping people bring their backyard dreams to life . We offer a range of products, including:

Have you been thinking about your spending more time in your backyard? Let us help made your dreams a reality! Fill out the free measure and quote form at the top of this article. A member of our dedicated sales team will be in touch.

[1] (2018) ‘5 Ways the Sun Impacts Your Mental and Physical Health’, Tri-City Medical [Blog]. Available at https://www.tricitymed.org/2018/08/5-ways-the-sun-impacts-your-mental-and-physical-health/

[2] (2019) ‘6 Ways to Boost Serotonin Without Medication’, Healthline, 22 April 2019 [Blog]. Available at https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-increase-serotonin

[3] (2018) ‘Exercise and mood’, Better Health Channel, 24 January 2018 [Blog]. Available at https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/exercise-and-mood

[4] Zhao M, Veeranki SP, Li S, et al, (2019) ‘Beneficial associations of low and large doses of leisure time physical activity with all-cause, cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality: a national cohort study of 88,140 US adults’ British Journal of Sports Medicine, 19 March 2019;53:1405-1411.





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