HEALTHY LIVING
12/01/2012 12:58 am ET

The Secret To A Happy Workout? The Color Green

It's no secret that working out amid nature -- from a city park to a country trail -- improves the experience for many. In fact, studies show that those who exercise out of doors boost the mental health benefit of their workout by 50 percent.

But another study, released earlier this year and making news this month suggests that one reason nature puts us so at ease is simply because of its color: green.

Researchers from the University of Essex in England designed a study to investigate how color affects the mood of those mid-workout. In it, 14 college-age men rode stationary bikes for three five-minute periods while watching a video clip of nature scenes. Each video had a color filter that rendered the image green, then black and white, then red for one of the three five-minute periods. Between each segment, the subjects answered questions about their mood.

The researchers found that subjects reported more energy and better mood following the green-hued nature scenes than after black and white and red ones. What's more, the red-hued screens made participants feel angry. But why?

As Health on TODAY reported:

Lush greenery signaled abundant food and nearby water to early human ancestors, the researchers wrote in their study. As a result, positive feelings toward the color green may have become hardwired into the human brain over the course of evolution, they said.

What else can colors do to your mood? Read on for more:

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