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Good Housekeeping
Charlene J. Owen, Contributor
 
November 28, 2012

A “Green” Workout May Put You in a Better Mood

According to a new study, the positive effects of green exercise may have more to do with the color green than with being surrounded by nature. By Charlene J. Owen

Some people prefer doing their workout outdoors, saying that it has psychological benefits, but scientists have recently found out that “going green” can also mean something for people who prefer doing their exercise routine indoors.

The study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology last August and reported on Today.com, explores how the color green may actually mimic the feel-good boost Mother Nature provides.

During the trial, researchers from the University of Essex asked 14 male volunteers to ride a stationary bike indoors while watching a video that simulated the cycling through a natural environment in two sessions at five minutes per session. For the first session, the filter on the screen was switched from green to black and white. The second session involved the black and white filter to be switched to red. The participants’ moods were then taken between the sessions.

The men reported fewer mood disturbances while the green filter was on. They said that they felt angrier during the red version of the video. Short wavelength colors like blue and green evoke a sense of calmness, while red and yellow evoke stimulation, according to researchers.

While the study may not apply to the general population (men mostly in their 20s were used as participants), it indicates that environment may actually impact our physical performance. When outlining your goals for your workout--weight loss, relaxation, or to feel energized to start your day--consider the environment where you choose to engage your workout in. This may just improve both your mental focus and your physical performance.

(Photo by John Loo via Flickr Creative Commons)

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