I’ve long advocated getting outside to do your workout whenever you possibly can. It can definitely be a challenge for those of us that don’t live in such temperate climates, like me for example. The weather doesn’t exactly agree about 75% of the year around here with that goal, so I’m often finding other ways to exercise, or exercising outside (usually jogging) when it’s a little too chilly to still be doing so.
There are many reasons I’ve cited personally that getting outside to exercise really agrees with me. Among them are getting fresh air, seeing greenery and getting sunshine as well as smelling the scents and seeing the beautiful scenery that nature has to offer, which is in and of itself invigorating and rejuvenating to the body and the brain.
Now I’m reading that there is another very good reason to get outdoors to do your workout if you possibly can. A new study has shown that seeing the color green can actually make you work out harder. Yep, just the simplicity of seeing that glorious color that nature is often painted with has a positive effect on how great your workout can be!
How can researchers determine this? Well, they did a study where participants were asked to get on a stationary bike while watching various simulated scenes on a monitor in front of them. They showed various outdoor nature-like scenes with one caveat.
They would switch up the color filters on the nature scenes for each study segment in order to see how the various filtered colors affected the study participants in their mood and perceived sense of well being. Both of these have an important impact on how well we work out and how positive the impact of our workout is because they give us that mental and physical boost that we need and crave from our workouts.
As they say, there is a huge mind-body connection and most people look for not only a physical sense of energy and strength from working out, but they also look for that extra mental and emotional boost as well. I actually feel like my workouts are more about keeping my emotions in check the older I get, so it goes to show that working out has shifting priorities for most people as they get older.
In the end, the study participants who saw the natural scenery with the green filter were the ones who reported the least negative emotional feelings and felt less fatigued than the participants who viewed the screens with other colors like red filters and black and white filters.
This is the first study that tells us that it may not just be the sounds and scents of getting outdoors that helps boost our mood and therefore our workout’s effects, but it may in large part actually have a lot to do with something a whole lot more simplistic (and easily controlled) the color green. Perhaps this might lead to some interesting displays one can buy when working out that help boost mood. More to come on this interesting discovery….