Sweat Happier: Why Green Scenes Pump Up Your Workout Mood!

So, you’re tired of the same old gym routine, the dull environment, and the monotonous workout you’ve been doing for what seems like forever. Well, good news! Research shows that you can get more satisfaction and better mood boosts simply by exercising outdoors and being close to nature.

Green is the Key to Better Workouts

Scientists at the University of Essex in England have discovered that the color green plays a significant role in enhancing our mood and self-esteem during exercise. Specifically, they found that indoor cyclists who stared at a green screen while pedaling experienced a significant emotional boost compared to those who stared at a black and white screen.

So why not take your workout routine to the great outdoors and enjoy the mood-boosting benefits of Mother Nature? Here are some ways to integrate greenery into your workout sessions, along with links to more in-depth resources for each type of exercise.

Running or Walking in the Green

Take your running or walking routine off the treadmill and onto a nearby trail in a park, or try exploring your local neighborhood. Not only will the natural scenery provide a welcome change of pace, but the varied terrain can challenge your muscles in new ways.

If you’re not sure where to find the best running or walking routes, try websites like TrailLink or apps like AllTrails to discover popular paths near you.

Outdoor Yoga

Why not take your yoga practice outside, too? Find a quiet, green space where you can lay out your mat and focus on your breathing and movements. You’ll not only benefit from the color green, but also the fresh air and sunlight, which can improve your mood even more.

Websites like Yoga Journal can help you find the best outdoor yoga flow routines for your level of experience.

Biking in Nature

Cycling outdoors is a great way to reap both physical and mental benefits from your workout. Whether it’s on a road bike in the countryside or a mountain bike on rugged trails, immersing yourself in the green scenery will do wonders for your mood.

Check out websites like BikeRadar for advice on finding the best routes, as well as tips on bike maintenance and safety.

Park Workouts

Many parks have fitness stations or outdoor gyms where you can perform a variety of exercises like pull-ups, tricep dips, or push-ups. These are perfect spots for a full-body workout in the green.

Visit the websites of your local parks or sites like ParkFitNation to find fitness stations near you.

Group Outdoor Exercise Classes

Joining a group exercise class in a park is another excellent way to work out in nature while also meeting new people. Many cities or community centers offer free or low-cost classes like Zumba, Tai Chi, or boot camp in parks or other green spaces during warmer months.

Check out websites like Meetup to find local outdoor group exercise classes or events.


Hiking isn’t just a walk in the park – it’s an excellent full-body workout that can be tailored to your fitness level by choosing the right trail. Plus, the act of navigating through nature provides a mental challenge that can boost brain health as well.

Websites like American Hiking Society can help you find the perfect trail for your next green workout adventure.

Bottom Line: Get Out and Get Green

The evidence is clear: working out in nature and surrounded by greenery can have a significant impact on our mood and self-esteem. As a bonus, outdoor exercise often offers more variety and challenge than our usual routines.

So try incorporating one or more of these green workout ideas into your routine and see the difference it makes, not just for your body, but also your mind. Happy exercising!