Posted on Nov 08, 2016, 6 a.m.
Exercising outdoors may help to improve mood and motivate to continue exercising longer, among postmenopausal women.
Current physical activity guidelines encourage adults to engage in at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Yet, many people fail to achieve these goals; it is speculated that the lack of a positive affective response (resulting indirect benefits, such as improved mood) may play a role. Isabelle Dionne, from the University Institute of Geriatrics of Sherbrooke (Canada), and colleagues completed a 12-week long study involving 23 healthy postmenopausal women, ages 52 to 59 years, who were assigned to either outdoor training or indoor training and performed three weekly 1-hour sessions of identical aerobic and resistance training. The researchers assessed their affective states (emotional state) during exercise sessions, and depression before and afterwards. The team observed that exercise-induced affective changes were greater among those subjects who exercised outdoors. Outdoor workouts resulted in better mood and help to keep the subjects exercising longer than the indoor-exercising group. The study authors report that: “Outdoor training enhances affective responses to exercise and leads to greater exercise adherence than indoor training in postmenopausal women.”
Lacharite-Lemieux M, Brunelle JP, Dionne IJ. “Adherence to exercise and affective responses: comparison between outdoor and indoor training.” Menopause. 2014 Nov 24.