Regular exercise has many health benefits. It helps you sleep better, decreases your risk of chronic diseases and improves your mental health. A new study done by Yale and Oxford showed that exercise can also make you happy. In fact, physical activity may play a bigger role in your happiness than the amount of money that you make. Can exercise make you happy? You bet!
The researchers collected data and analyzed the mood and physical activity of 1.2 million people in America. They were asked about their income, how many times they participated in physical activity per week and how many times they felt unwell within the past 30 days.
Additionally, they were asked about the type of physical activity they participated in. Running, cycling, doing housework, taking care of children and mowing the lawn all counted as physical activity. The study showed that people who exercised regularly felt bad 35 days out of the year. People who did not engage in physical activity felt bad 18 more days out of the year.
The study also showed that people who exercised regularly and made at least $25,000 per year were just as happy as those who played sports. However, it is important to note that you can overdo a good thing.
Too Much Exercise can Hurt Your Mental Health
Even though physical activity can help you sleep better and improve your health, you do not want to get too much of it. Experts recommend that you get three to five training sessions per week for 30 to 60 minutes. However, if you get more than three hours of physical activity in per day, then your mental health may suffer. In fact, too much activity can be worse for your mental health than not participating in any type of physical activity.
Adam Chekroud is a study author who works at Yale University. He stated that the relationship between physical activity and mental health is U-shaped. It is obvious that physical activity improves mental health, but it is only up to a certain point.
Additionally, scientists noticed that certain sports allowed people to socialize more. Socialization is important for mental and physical health. They found that sports that allowed you to socialize had more of an impact on your mental health than other types of sports.
However, it is important to note that even though a sport may not allow you to socialize as much, it can still have a positive effect on your mental health. Aerobics is not a team sport, but you will still have the opportunity to socialize with other people.
How Does Exercise Make You Happy?
Physical activity has been shown to increase the endorphins. They are known as the happy hormones. It can also help boost dopamine and serotonin, which also regulate mood.