The effect of environment on a workout


Have you ever heard that we are all products of our surroundings? This logic states that we are all influenced by the environments that we operate in, shaping us into the people who we are today. That got us thinking: what are the various psychological environmental factors that can make or break a workout?

This information is incredibly useful to gym instructors strategising a routine for their client. Let’s look at how surroundings can influence the effectiveness of the environments in which we exercise in.

Environment 1: Outside


Some fitness experts suggest that exercising outside leads to better fitness. For one, the exposure to sunlight provides the body with a healthy dose of vitamin D, a nutrient that is key to making the body function efficiently. Nature and the colour green have also been found to have a calming affect on the subconscious, so it provides a stress-free atmosphere.

The physical and psychological factors of this environment work together to create an ideal work space for you.

Environment 2: In the gym

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Working out in the gym is all about control. You control the amount of weight you use and the level at which you work. A study conducted by Santa Clara University and published in the International Journal of Exercise Science examined the influence of environments on exertion output. It assessed people on stationary bikes in three places: 1) in front of a mirror surrounded by posters of fit bodies, 2) only in front of a mirror, and 3) no mirror or poster.

The key finding from this research found that it was those who worked out in front of the mirror and poster who pedalled fastest. This study indicates that when surrounded by visual motivation like images of an ideal body shape, or even paired with other people working alongside you, you work a little harder.

Environment 3: At home

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Considering the last two environments, you have to wonder how effective a workout at home would be. There’s even less stimulation here to keep you motivated, and ample distraction that could keep you from really getting the job done. As you lay out your yoga mat, you might notice some dust bunnies that need vacuuming first – this could spiral into further procrastination, taking time¬†away from your workout.

However, it can be an ideal environment for someone looking to ease back into working out again as it provides privacy to work at their own pace. This environment eliminates the pressure of feeling the need to compare one body type to another.

Contact our team here at Onfit Training College if you want to learn more about how your surroundings can influence your workout, as well as more information on general health and wellness.