Combatting Cabin Fever Through Exercise

If you’re a self-profe ssed homebody, you could seriously benefit from a change of scenery. Spending time in nature could improve your physical and mental health, ward off illness, and actually make you happier! 

As the Father of Western Medicine, Hippocrates, once said, “Nature itself is the best physician.” If you’re curious about the health benefits you can reap from being outside, read on! Below, we cover 13 reasons to soak up everything nature has to offer.   Read on for the best benefits of getting outdoors.

1. Being in Nature Boosts Life Satisfaction

Although not officially recognized as a medical diagnosis, cabin fever is a very real phenomenon. According to CNN, the term can be traced back to the early 1800s when contracted infectious diseases forced many to self-isolate. It’s also commonly experienced during the winter when it’s not advisable to leave one’s shelter. Due to being in lockdown today, more people report to experiencing cabin fever and exercise could be an effective way to combat it.

Noticing the signs of cabin fever

One of the reasons cabin fever isn’t considered a medical condition is that the symptoms are too broad and common. It can be any or a combination of the following:

• restlessness or boredom
• irritability
• low motivation
• sadness or depression
• difficulty in focusing on tasks
• food cravings
• and lethargy.

Experiencing any of these negative emotions could just be a sign of being human but it could also be indicative of cabin fever. People who are more outgoing are naturally more prone to being distressed when staying at home for long periods of time. But even individuals who consider themselves as homebodies can experience it. Not having the option to walk around, visit a favorite spot, and hang out with family and friends contributes to cabin fever. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to feel less trapped in your own home.

How to fight it with exercise

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The most obvious solution to cabin fever is, of course, going outside and getting some fresh air. Maybe you can go out for a run around the park to hit two birds with one stone! Insider points out that vitamin D, which you could get from exposure to sunlight, can improve mood and behavior.

But with safety concerns due to the ongoing pandemic, it’s understandable if you want to minimize your exposure outdoors. A lot of people are also working from home which might add to the tension that’s building up at home. To help you out, an article written by James Gonzales lists key tips to keep in mind when establishing healthy routines if you’re staying mostly indoors. He highlights that it’s important to create boundaries including scheduling breaks that can reduce that feeling of being always ‘on’. This should include a break for exercise as it counts as personal time or something that you do for yourself.

There are plenty of compelling reasons to stay fit. It’s proven to ease many negative emotions including depression which can help make you feel more comfortable indoors. In fact, the benefits of exercise on keeping your mental health in check is widely studied. Writer Aaron Zamzow explains that exercise breaks the cycle of stress, which creates physical tension in the body that eventually develop into psychological strain. This is all mainly due to the power of exercise to release endorphins or the so-called happy hormones. The rush of positive feelings that you get after completing a workout, which includes happiness and satisfaction, is linked to this important hormone.

Moreover, exercise also has key cognitive benefits. Our previous article, ‘Exercise: Proven To Boost Mental Health’, discussed that one of the main benefits to the brain is the increased focus. When you’re able to direct your attention to a task, you can complete it more efficiently. Feeling productive again could be the key to increasing your motivation level and keeping cabin fever at bay.

Written exclusively for Milehighfitness.com

by Alicia Cook

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