Skip Nav
Yoga
These Naked Dudes Doing Yoga Might Make You Blush (but You're OK With It)
What's the Best Diet For Long-Term Weight Loss?
Weight Loss
If You Want to Lose Weight and Keep It Off, a Doctor Says to Skip Keto and Intermittent Fasting
45-Minute No-Equipment Barre Workout
Workouts
This No-Equipment Barre Workout Fuses Cardio and Toning
What Is an Abnormal Pap Smear?
Healthy Living
An Ob/Gyn Explains What an Abnormal Pap Smear Is and What Can Be Done About It
Workouts
If Running Is Your Kryptonite, Try This 6-Move Cardio Strengthening Workout

Exercise For Mental Health Study

​Another Reason to Get Active: Regular Exercise Boosts Mental Health, According to New Study ​

Photographer: Them TooEditorial and internal use only. No advertising or print.

There's a reason it's called a runner's high: you get a rush of feel-good endorphins after a particularly tough sweat sesh, whether that's a run around the neighbourhood, killing it in the weight room, or a high-intensity spin class. But now, a new study — the largest of its kind in the US — says that regular exercise can boost mental health, decreasing the number of days a month you feel depressed.

The study, which analysed data from 1.2 million US people aged 18 and older found that those who exercised regularly had had fewer days of poor mental health than those who didn't. Those taking part in the study experienced an average of 3.4 days of poor mental health each month, but the people who were active only reported two days of poor mental health. For people who had been diagnosed with depression, the improvement was even greater: seven days of poor mental health for the exercisers compared to 11 days for those who didn't exercise.

However, the study found that more exercise isn't always better; the sweet spot was 30-60 minutes every other day, or about 45 minutes three to five days a week. The most positive associations were also seen in groups who participated in popular team sports, cycling, and aerobic and gym activities.

Although exercise provides a huge mental health benefit, this study can't confirm that physical activity was the cause of improved mental health in the study's participants. Depression and other mental illness should be treated by your doctor or other mental healthcare provider, who can recommend an exact course of treatment. Working out may help, but it's not necessarily a replacement for medication, therapy, and other lifestyle factors.



Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / THEM TOO
More from POPSUGAR
From Our Partners
What Is an Abnormal Pap Smear?
Matthew McConaughey Sleep Story
Can Thyroid Problems Cause Anxiety?
How to Make Anal Sex Pleasurable
How Quiting Snooze Button Makes You Feel
Can You Drink Too Much Kombucha?
Vegan Meal-Prep Ideas
Coolest Activewear Gifts
Best Wellness Christmas Gifts
Foods With Magnesium
How to Break a Sugar Addiction in 3 Weeks
15 Ways to De-Bloat in a Day
From Our Partners
Latest Health & Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds