Excersise Slows Down Time

The Time Slows Down When You Exercise: Study Discovers

Have you ever started a workout feeling motivated, only to glance at the clock and realize way less time has passed than you thought? It’s not your imagination! New research reveals that exercise can distort your perception of time, making those minutes on the treadmill feel like hours.

Why Does Time Slow Down During Exercise?

A recent study by psychologists from the UK and Netherlands looked at how exercise affects our internal sense of time (called chronoception). They found that participants significantly underestimated the passage of time when resting compared to when they were actively exercising. In other words, a 30-second rest period felt shorter than a 30-second stint on a stationary bike.
This distortion in time perception could be due to several factors:

Increased Bodily Awareness: Exercise makes you more aware of your body and any discomfort you might be experiencing. Pain and physical exertion are known to slow down our perception of time.
Focus and Concentration: During exercise, you might be more focused on your breathing, form, or technique. This heightened focus could make time seem to drag.

Does Intensity or Competition Matter?

Unlike previous studies, this research didn’t find a significant difference in time perception based on exercise intensity or the presence of a virtual competitor. This might be because the study used avatars instead of real competitors, or because the participants weren’t highly competitive. 

The Takeaway: Embrace the Time Warp!

While further research is needed, this study offers a fascinating glimpse into how exercise affects our perception of time. Knowing that your workout might feel longer than it actually is can help you stay motivated and push through challenging sessions. So next time you’re on the treadmill and feel like time is standing still, remember, it’s just science (and maybe a little pain) playing tricks on your mind!

The study was published in Brain and Behavior.