Contrary to popular believes, exercise is not only meant for physical health. More and more research studies have shown that exercise is also essential for good mental and emotional health.
Exercising in small amounts could have a huge effect on ones happiness. Young or old, exercising is needed in your daily life.
According to a new review of research about good moods and physical activity, people who work out even once a week or for as little as 10 minutes a day tend to be more cheerful than those who never exercise. And any type of exercise may be helpful. So long as you are comfortable with the form of exercise you have chosen.
The research began by combing research databases for relevant studies and wound up with 23 published since 1980. Most of those were observational, meaning that the scientists simply looked at a group of people, asking them how much they worked out and how happy they were. A few of the studies were experiments in which people started exercising and researchers measured their happiness before and after.
The number of participants in any one study was often small, but together, they represented more than 500,000 people ranging in age from adolescents to the very old and covering a broad range of ethnic and socioeconomic groups. And for most of them, the researchers found, exercise was strongly linked to happiness. Exercise might also remodel the brain, for example, by prompting the creation of new brain cells or inducing changes in brain chemicals, in ways that contribute to positive emotions.
Some happy people walked or jogged. Others practiced yoga-style posing and stretching. And the amount of exercise needed to influence happiness was slight. In several studies, people who worked out only once or twice a week said they felt much happier than those who never exercised. In other studies, 10 minutes a day of physical activity was linked with cheerful moods. Exercising improves health and feeling healthy can be a contributing factor to feeling happy. It is safe to assume that people who exercise are presumed to be happier than people who do not exercise.