Outdoors Walks Vs. Computer Surf: What’s Better for a Mood Boost

You go to a gym, sweat your soul out, get horrendous muscle pain the next morning and still no visible abs. You get frustrated and decide to continue your career of a couch (or a chair) potato. For some reason, you have no mood whatsoever, sitting in a box filled with devices and appliances. So many of us have been in such situations because of simple mistakes.

How about trying once more with the help of fresh air? Scientists say that outdoor walks help you get on the healthy side. It can give your body a boost and get you out of a depression.

A Mood- and Body-Boosting Experiment

There was an experiment in Austria with a group of volunteer participants, where they had to undergo two workouts and some time of sitting at a well-equipped room chatting. This research would show results in the long-run if the experiment was longer, but the short-term results were surprising.

Before the workouts, all the participants were asked about their mood and anxiety levels in general and at that particular moment.

The First Part: Outdoor Walk

The first workout was hiking in the mountains with the same emotional condition tests before, during, and after. The hike lasted for about three hours and was pretty tough with all the incline fluctuations. The volunteers had heart-rate measuring devices on and walked in a pace that made their breathing heavier but still allowed to chat with each other.

The Second Part: Treadmill Walk at a Gym

The second workout was held on another day with the same walk and inclines, but at a gym on a treadmill. The volunteers were encouraged to chat in the same way and they all underwent the mood tests before and after the walk. It was less strenuous, because treadmill is no hiking, the floor is smooth and an air conditioner is on.

The Third Part: Room Chat

The third part of the experiment was held in a room with computers and magazines. The participants’ mood was assessed again a couple of times and they just chatted for about the same three hours. No workouts, no physical activity, just surfing the net and chatting.

The Results

As the result, the most difficult workout (hiking in the mountains) gave the volunteers the best mood scores. It can be explained by the pleasant views they have seen. Treadmill walk still gave great mood results, much better than the time at the room in front of a computer.

So the next time you get inspired to change your life for the better, remember this study and try incorporating outdoor walks into your regime. Computers and the Internet will wait for you at home.

Wander Lusters

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