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Holiday Cheer with a little Exercise

The idea that moving has a  beneficial effect on your mood is not a new one –  it helps to lower the risk of depression and anxiety. But what about people who are already psychologically healthy? How does it affect them? Does it improve their mood as well?  In a research Published in the Journal of Happiness Studies in March, 2018 at University of Michigan ( my U)  they decided to look at the correlation between working out and happiness levels . They dug up as many previous research studies as the could, which turned into a combined representation of over 500,000 people. All these observational studies showed that there is a strong link between exercise and being happy!

The type of exercise didn’t seem to matter, whether jogging, walking, yoga, or lifting weights… even how often they exercised didn’t matter… some once a week, some more. They all felt happier than people who didn’t. People who exercised 30 min /day, on most days of the week were also 30 percent more likely to consider themselves happier than people who did not.

What is not clear from this study is whether people who exercise become happier, OR , if people are already happy and therefore exercise?!

Certainly happiness is subjective, and whether it is derived from the social interaction,  solitude, fresh air or music, during exercise is not clear either. What is certain is that exercise improves health, and healthier people are happier. Exercise creates new brain cells and changes brain chemicals that produce positive emotions.

And THAT is something to Cheer About!!!

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