Getting outside is an amazing way to get exercise, reduce stress, and enjoy nature—all things that improve your overall health. Studies show that being active 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week can significantly reduce your risk of breast cancer by reducing circulating levels of estrogen in the body.
We’ve all been there. After finally getting back into an exercise routine, we’re frustrated to find that, despite sweating it out six times a week, we’ve actually been gaining weight. Ugh! Why? Well, it seems that weight gain, despite frequent exercise, could all come down to a matter of your perspective during the exercise session itself.
That’s right. Those who see their workouts as playtime, or have fun doing them, subconsciously make healthier food choices after the workout, according to New York Times reporting on a study published in the journal Marketing Letters.
Researchers told some study participants to walk for exercise, and to focus on their exertion during the walk. Other participants, however, were told to go on a walk for enjoyment. This group was encouraged to have fun, to take in the view, and to have a sight-seeing adventure.
Amazingly, the walkers told they were doing so for fun hoarded fewer of the sugary foods and snacks provided afterwards. By contrast, the walkers told they were exercising gorged themselves on the snacks provided after the walk. Similar results were observed among runners who were given similar guidelines; those who enjoyed the race ate much less than those who did the race because they had to.
As the lead author of the study, Dr. Carolina O.C. Werle, told the Times, “The more fun we have, the less we’ll feel the need to compensate for the effort.”