One of my newest favorite forms of exercise is isometric exercise.
Isometric exercise, for those who are not familiar, is a type of resistance exercise that requires holding a position of resistance. This can include getting into a squat position and holding it rather than squatting up and down, pushing against a wall, or any other form of resistance where you hold the position rather than moving it.
I started doing isometric exercises as an outgrowth of my farmers walk and carrying workout plan, which I wrote about here. I love how isometric exercises, like farmers walks and carries, simulate real-life labor, as well as cause you to use a lot of muscles to help stabilize your position.
Additionally, I think spending time in nature is very fulfilling, uplifting, and possibly even a major component of our overall health, mental and otherwise, due to those factors and perhaps others yet to be discovered (opinion).
So when I saw this study, I was not only excited to read it but also quite a bit surprised that researchers somewhere thought to put these two seemingly unrelated concepts together.
The results only justified my excitement and have caused me to rethink how I exercise.
Researchers out of China, Singapore, and Sweden, whose results were published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in May 2021, recruited an admittedly small group of 18 men into a randomized controlled study to determine what impact, if any, watching a forest walking video would have on an isometric exercise period.
The “treatment” group watched the video while doing wall squats (leaning your back against a wall, squatting into a squat position, and holding that position) and the control group watched a black screen. They watched these videos during both exercise and recovery.
The researchers found, in their words:
“In general, our findings support that nature video viewing may help reduce perceived exertion, increase exercise pleasure, buffer heart rate, and improve cardiac autonomic recovery for wall squat exercising, which implies the potential of nature-based stimuli in green exercise.”
Now, again the sample size in this study was fairly small, so as always more studies replicating these results in larger and broader populations would be great.
But in the meantime, this does give us some great food for thought. Being somewhat of an indoor cat myself, I don’t know that I will be taking my workouts to the forest anytime soon. But I may start playing some nature scenes on my TV or laptop while I exercise and see how that makes me feel.
Is this study the first step toward replacing blaring loud music in gyms with trees, bushes, and lilies? Maybe not, but who knows!
Thanks for being here.
If you liked this article, you might also like my totally unrelated book Power Words!
Power Words is a book I wrote about tips I’ve learned to help unlock the power of affirmations using certain words to help you believe your affirmations and speed up the process.
It has nothing to do with isometric exercises or nature, but it is FREE on Kindle Unlimited, so if you have a subscription there is nothing to lose.
You can also buy a copy if you want, but free is cheaper. Check it out below:
The statements contained on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Unless otherwise specified, no writer for PursuitOfGreat.com is a licensed physician, medical doctor, trainer, nutritionist or health professional of any kind. Do not consume anything written about on this website if you are allergic to it or if it contraindicates any medication or substance you are taking. Please consult a physician before consuming anything.
The opinions expressed herein are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. Please consult a physician or health care professional for your specific health care or medical needs.
Please talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise or diet program, including those found on this website. The information provided on this site is not intended as a substitute for consultations with your doctor nor is it intended to provide medical advice specific to your condition. (click to read our full disclaimer)