December 3, 2020. Gonna be a long, dark, cold winter for most of us. A time when The Great Outdoors just isn’t, well, comfortable. So here’s a Way to stay in shape and keep moving. Indoors. With all the benefits of exercise – and a lot of the benefit of being outdoors. Yup, it’s my app, Treadmill Trails. No treadmill necessary. Just move your feet while the videos move through the most spectacularly beautiful places on the planet.
They’re relaxing and energizing at the same time, just like being out in the real thing. If you’re wondering how or why, check out this study, “Physiological Effects of Visual Stimulation with Forest Imagery”. Its conclusions: “Viewing forest imagery induced (1) a significant decrease in oxy-Hb concentrations in the right prefrontal cortex [associated with lowered blood pressure and heart rate] and (2) a significant increase in perceptions of feeling “comfortable,” “relaxed,” and “natural.” These findings indicate that viewing forest imagery may induce physiological and psychological relaxation.”
So Press Play and relax.
I don’t want to jump the gun here, but at 99 cents for a 30-minute HD video, these are a screaming good deal of a Christmas gift. For yourself.
The Walks That Relax
Many clinical studies show that simple walks in the woods produce lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol; lower heart rates and blood pressure; and, lower nervous brain activity.
In Japan, they think of walking in the woods as preventive medicine. They actually have dozens of official Forest Therapy Trails there – and 25% of the population uses them.
In Japan, they call these nature walks “forest bathing”. Taking a relaxing bath in nature, water not included. These nature baths give the planning and problem-solving parts of your brain a rest. So you feel refreshed.
We now know that even looking at nature images in a lab reduces stress and makes you feel happier. Looking at pictures – or video – actually turns off your otherwise non-stop data processing, your e-mail checking, your looking for a parking space – all that stuff that causes mental fatigue. So a 30-minute Treadmill Trail video version of nature should leave you feeling very relaxed, refreshed and sharp. Just like the exercise you’re getting while you walk or run in place!