Neurology Central

Could mental health be improved with regular exercise?

In the largest observational study of its kind, involving 1.2 million people across all 50 states in the USA, researchers have revealed that individuals who exercise report having 1.5 fewer days of poor mental health a month, compared with individuals who do not exercise.

In the study, which was published in The Lancet Psychiatry, all types of physical activity were included, such as childcare, housework, lawn-mowing and fishing to cycling, going to the gym, running and skiing.

The researchers reported that team sports, cycling, aerobics and going to the gym were associated with the biggest reductions in poor mental health (reduction in poor mental health days of 22.4%, 21.6% and 20.1%, respectively).

The team also indicated that exercising for 45 minutes three- to five-times a week was associated with the largest benefit. However, more exercise was not always better.

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