Five kilometres in rolling countryside is wholly preferable to the same on a treadmill. After all, who wouldn’t prefer the great outdoors to the grim greyness of your local gym, filled as it is with the dank odour of other people’s sweat? It would seem the benefits of a scenic workout aren’t just visual, though.
According to new research published in the Medicine And Science in Sports And Exercise journal, picturesque sights when you’re getting a sweat on can lend itself to greater exertion, and increased focus.
One group of participants took part in an audio-only cycling class – your average sit and spin with some health nut up top screaming cliches. The second however, worked out in a fully immersive cycling workout called ‘The Trip’ by New Zealand fitness company Les Mills. In this setting, the spinning class was placed in front of a floor-to-ceiling curved screen, and the study found increased exercise intensity, satisfaction and perceived exertion within this group.
Better yet, green-eared gym goers were said to have found even more satisfaction with the workout, potentially paving a new way for newbies to get involved.
True, we don’t all have access to Tron-like virtual reality by the squat rack. But VR workouts are on the up, and until they hit your local, there’s nothing to stop you taking your workout outside.