It’s well-known that engaging in physical activity can be a real killer of depression of anxiety. However, it seems exercise is actually doing more than that. According to a new study developed by researchers from the University of Michigan, being physically active can actually improve the feelings of happiness, well-being, and contentment.
Physical activity is essential for happiness
Researchers have decided to explore the link between happiness and physical activity, and found some correlations. It turns out your happiness depends on how often and how much you exercise. To reach this conclusion, they performed a bigger study on 23 other individual researches related to happiness.
From these 23 studies, 8 showed a clear intervention, while the 15 others were merely observational. While looking at the observational ones, researchers found a clear connection between physical activity and a better mental state among those who practiced it. Weiyun Chen, one of the authors of the study, explained the connection.
“Our findings suggest the physical activity frequency and volume are essential factors in the relationship between physical activity and happiness.”
Even a little bit of exercise counts
Therefore, what we need to do if we want to be happy is to start exercising. Even if it sounds like a tiring activity for some, it has a huge impact both on our physical and our mental health. Also, what is even more important is the fact that anything counts. You don’t have to start big from the beginning, as even a little bit of exercise will produce visible results.
The study revealed the happiness threshold lies in the presence or absence of physical activity. There was no difference in terms of state of mind between people who exercised over 300 minutes per week and those who exercised less. However, those who spent even a little of their time being active scored a lot higher than the sedentary ones.
The study was published in the Journal of Happiness Studies.
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