Going outside can be the key to improving mental health

Local News

URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — We’ve been telling you how the “stay at home” order means you can still go outside, as long as you’re practicing social distancing.

Many people in central Illinois Wednesday did just that. Therapists and fitness experts say that’s so important, because getting out and getting active is key to making sure you’re not only physically healthy, but mentally as well.

Spring has sprung, and for people at Blair Park in Urbana, the nice temperatures and slight breeze outside put a little more spring in their step.

“I said the first nice day, I’m coming out here,” said avid tennis player John D’Angelo. “So I emailed a couple of friends and said it’s gonna be nice today late in the afternoon…let’s show up.”

They did, while practicing social distancing.

So did many others, to bike ride, jog, or walk their dog.

Even if running or long walks aren’t really your thing, it’s also okay and encouraged to just sit and enjoy it.

Developing and marketing director of the Stephens Family YMCA Christina Frye said, just do what you can!

“Now we’re in a time where there’s so much uncertainty right? And things are literally changing by the hour. And there’s so much that we can’t control,” said Frye. “This is something we can control. We can control making time to just go for a walk around the block.”

Counselors like Anna Farris agree, because she said your mental health is just as important as your physical health, even and especially now.

“It reduces levels of cortisol, which reduces our stress. And it just incorporates all of our senses in general, so that’s something that’s really important and that I stress for my clients when they’re feeling anxious,” said Farris.

So she said, immerse yourself in everything you can for your own well being, but also to have some fun!

Just keep in mind, some shared equipment, like playgrounds, are closed off to the public while the governor’s mandate is in effect.

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