6 surprising benefits of going to the park in the winter

Boost your mood, creativity and your physical health

Posted on 22nd November 2023

Frosty grass in parkland

The benefits of the great outdoors apply all year round and are relevant to everyone no matter your age or lifestyle.

Getting your daily dose of fresh air at the park is beneficial to both your mental and physical health. But with temperatures dropping, lockdown upon us, daylight dwindling and the weather becoming more wintry, the temptation to stay indoors and get cosy is increasing.

If you need some persuading to spend more time outdoors during the colder months of the year, these 6 reasons should be enough! Whether you choose to go for a run, a walk or just sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery, you can still reap all of these benefits.

  1. A trip to the park provides you with quality time to disconnect from technology and the stresses of life. This time enables reflection and can help you think more clearly. Studies show that you are more likely to think of creative and innovative ideas whilst taking a stroll in pleasant outdoor surroundings. 1 If you’re stuck for ideas, take a trip to the park to get your creative juices flowing.
  2. The quiet, traffic-free atmosphere in the park can improve your mental health by promoting relaxation and boosting your wellbeing. Studies show that spending as little as 20 minutes in the park is enough to boost your wellbeing and improve your life satisfaction. 2 With the daylight hours not being in our favour, head over to the park in your lunchtime break or pop there over the weekend.
  3. Getting outdoors can reduce fatigue by boosting vitamin D levels, helping you to feel more alert and refreshed. Thus, improving your concentration levels and productivity.
  4. Exercise improves your physical health. Did you know it can reduce your risk of certain diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, by up to 30%? 3 Exercise, even just a gentle walk, can build your muscle strength and increase your fitness levels.
  5. A trip to the park can help you beat those winter blues! Exercise and fresh air can increase your serotonin levels which, in turn, can boost your mood and self-esteem. 4
  6. It’s also great for those of you with children. Exploring outdoor playgrounds are not only lots of fun, they can increase imaginative play and improve communication skills, strengthen children’s muscles and co-ordination, and burn off excess energy!
Sun, snow and tree at Great Notley Country Park

With all these positive benefits to both your mental and physical health, and a selection of parks conveniently located all over Essex, it is an ideal time to get out for a stroll and enjoy the delights of winter – crunchy leaves, dewy grass, fresh air and winter wildlife. So, wrap up warm and grab your coat and wellies for a day in the great outdoors.

Whether you’re looking for a bracing stroll along the coast, a woodland walk or somewhere to hone your cycling skills, Essex has a selection of parks on your doorstep. Discover our parks here.

1 https://psycnet.apa.org/buy/20...

2 https://www.tandfonline.com/do...

3 https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/e...

4 https://www.healthline.com/hea...