Scientists Say Exercise Can Make You Happier Than Money

You know that high you get from a really good, really intense workout? Well apparently nothing can come close to making you feeling as happy — not even cash.

A recent study from researchers at Yale and Oxford has revealed that exercise is actually more important to your mental health than how much money you have, Business Insider reported.

The study was conducted by collecting data from more than 1.2 million Americans.

According to the published results in Lancet, those participants were asked the question, "How many times have you felt mentally unwell in the past 30 days, for example, due to stress, depression, or emotional problems?"

Those same participants were also asked a series of other questions to gauge their income and level of physical activity.

They were given 75 different types of physical activity to choose from, from the domestic (mowing the lawn, taking care of children, and doing housework) to the recreational (weight lifting, cycling, and running.)

Those who exercised regularly were found to feel mentally unwell an average of 35 days a year.

Unsplash | Anupam Mahapatra

Meanwhile, participants who were less active reported feeling bad about 18 days more than that.

And, as far as income goes, the active participants actually felt just as good as the inactive ones who earned about $25,000 more than them a year.

So what do these results tell us?

Well, they certainly reveal that money doesn't automatically make you a happier person, as so many of us working mediocre jobs might like to believe.

This could have to do with the fact that some sports (particularly team sports) involve some level of socializing, which can have a positive effect on your mental health.

But, researchers cautioned, that doesn't automatically mean the more you exercise, the happier you'll be.

Unsplash | Meghan Holmes

Study author Adam Chekroud of Yale University explained it's all about finding the perfect balance.

"The relationship between sport duration and mental load is U-shaped," he told Die Welt.

Basically, physical activity only benefits you mentally if you don't gas yourself out. Three to five training sessions lasting between 30 to 60 minutes a week is the ideal amount to achieve better mental well-being.

h/t: Business Insider, Die Welt

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