Green Exercise Boosts Self-Esteem and Moods

An apple a day isn’t the only thing that might keep the doctor away. Try spending five minutes of exercise outside to boost your self-esteem and mental health. In a United Kingdom study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, evidence showed that green exercise, which is activity in the presence of nature, leads to positive short and long-term health outcomes. The study also indicated that exercise in the presence of water generated greater effects. More so, self-esteem improvements were greatest in children and emotionally challenged individuals.
We understand the importance that Mother Nature has on our children. From boosting self-esteem to lifting behavioral moods, our children and youth receive serendipitous benefits during their summer camp experience. Outdoor activities also help children burn off frustration or anxiety.  The outdoors soothes them and they return to the Hillsides campus more relaxed. 
Camping has always been a much anticipated summer outing. Our recreation department schedules several outdoor activities: swimming, archery, wall climbing, hiking, canoeing and fishing. Rotating hour-long activities provides them with the structure and the support they need.  Meal times are consistent with those on our campus, which helps the children maintain the comfort of their routines.
For many of our children Hillsides’ summer camp is the first time they will have enjoyed the great outdoors. With support from several organizations and volunteer groups, we have been able to take residents camping for nearly three decades.  Campers have stayed at various sites over the years, such as Laguna, Dinky Creek, Silverwood, Big Bear, Wrightwood and most recently, Teresita Pines.  
One thing is certain—as Mother Nature plays an important role in providing mental health benefits, our Hillsides friends also play a key role in continuing this longstanding tradition of exploring the outdoors and creating keepsake memories.

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