It was brutally cold today, but somewhat sunny. I was the only person working in my building today, since it’s the MLK Jr. holiday and my co-workers are mostly military and state employees – they get it off, I don’t. I went to the gym after I put my time in, and since it is Monday I hopped on the treadmill.
Instead of swiping over to iTunes radio for my normal blood-pumping tune mix, I decided to pull up YouTube and load the Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail that I recently uploaded there for free.
Yep, the whole trail for free.
Since I’ve been working out regularly for about a month, and have a pretty good baseline, I wanted to put some Shinrin Yoku to the test. I don’t have a fancy EEG but my t-mill does have a heart rate monitor. Want to know my results?
I normally run a 5k, which takes me about half an hour, and then cool down after reaching a max heart rate of around 150. I walk it off until my HR drops under 110.
Today after loading the video and putting the screen up at eye level so I could focus on it, I was nearly instantly fixated on the trail. Not only did the time fly by, but I was still energized when I reached the 5k mark, and kept going until I hit 5 miles! Something I didn’t expect was how quickly my HR dropped under 110 and then under 100 during recovery. I was still watching the screen as I cooled down.
I trusted the science since I first read about it in 2013, but putting it to the test in the real world, and seeing (and feeling) it working, was something to experience.
Green exercise works, even if you’re getting it from a screen.
So when the weather warms up again and the buds start to burst, I’ll be out there in nature doing my thing instead of pounding a treadmill. But until then, I’m loading trails…