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© 2016 by On Track Expeditions Pty Ltd

Healthy body, heathy mind - the benefits of the outdoors on mental health

So you’re preparing for your next expedition, anxiety can be high as you pack. You are trying to train so that your body makes it through and also making sure all your work is done so the boss doesn’t regret giving you that leave.

But when you arrive home, you feel nothing like you did in the days leading up to your trip. Why?

The first thing that comes to mind is the fact that you have finished your trip and the anxiety of the unknown is over. That’s true, but there is also another huge factor as to why you feel so refreshed and energised after spending time in the outdoors - your mental state.

Outdoor therapy is a real thing with many companies now choosing it as an option for their employees to refresh their minds and promote productivity. And there is a reason why this works - a reconnection to nature.

It is fantastic to know that we are in a day and age where discussing mental health with family, friends or professional is accepted and not something to keep quiet. Furthermore, you can engage in a number of different activities that promote good mental health, many of these being outdoor related. A lot of the people who join our expeditions don’t expect such a change in their own mental state.

This is also the reason why we engage with a number of youth organisations.

From the Overland Track to Kokoda, we guide over 50 young people a year on our expeditions and many of them have their own tough stories.

Walking Kokoda is more than following history, its more than visiting beautiful PNG, it’s about helping to build a level of resilience and self-worth in these young people. It gives them something to draw on later in life when things get tough, it helps to strengthen their mind and build their self confidence.

Reconnecting to nature has proven to have a positive effect on your mental health and that is a key reason why your training leading up to an expedition and the expedition itself can assist your mental state.

Understanding this can sometimes, well, play with your mind. However it is quite simple – it is how your brain works in nature. To help get that calm post expedition feeling more often you can keep your training up to promote endorphins, get yourself outdoor more often with day walks with friends (we regularly run training walks around Australia) or just dedicate some time to enjoying the outdoors.

Being outdoors helps build a healthy body and a heathy mind