Money may not be able to buy happiness, but a recent study from top researchers at Oxford and Yale says exercise can! From a pool of more than 1.2 million American adults of different socioeconomic backgrounds, ages, and fitness levels, scientists developed a correlation between physical activity and mood as it relates to financial wellness and the perceived positive mental value of wealth.
The results may have you running an extra lap or two!
Active People Are Happy People
Everyone knows exercise releases positive neurotransmitters that promote overall mood and wellbeing. Endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin are produced when we're sweating it out at the gym. These chemical compounds send signals to the brain, playing a vital role in managing depression and stress.
Researchers discovered that participants who exercised regularly reported significantly improved mental status. On average, active individuals suffered from 35 "bad days" per year, where as nonactive participants reported feeling down 18 days more than those with a fitness regime.
Money vs. Exercise
The most surprising piece of information to come from the study is the fact that nonactive individuals who made $25,000 more than active individuals were equally happy. In other words, those who exercise but earn less feel just as good as nonactive individuals with higher incomes. This shines new light on the value of fitness.
More May Not Always Be Better
Interestingly, researchers found that the law of diminishing returns holds true for the fitness world. Increasing one's exercise regime did not always bring about an increase in positivity. Over exercising is counterproductive to mental health and can often lead to anxiety, stress, and worsened mood.
Likewise, you don't need to be a bodybuilder to get the happiness boost that comes with a good workout! Moderate levels of fitness had just as much impact as heavy conditioning.
One of the keys to ensuring each gym session stays fun and refreshing is versatility. No one likes doing the same thing over and over. Work with a personal trainer to develop a routine tailored to your happiness centered goals.
If you're feeling stressed out from work, release some of that pent up energy by learning to box.
Enjoy a midday total body HIIT with a supportive group of fellow gym lovers.
Dedicate a day to wellness and recovery with Qigong sessions and a post-workout massage.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to enjoying all the benefits exercise has to offer! Trilogy Fitness and Wellbeing of Los Gatos is here to help you find your happy. Contact us today to get your fitness focus started!