The Joy of Movement

It feels good to get the blood flowing and the muscles moving, but most importantly, exercise can make you happy.

The University of Michigan wanted to know if exercise can not only impact rates of depression and anxiety, but also affect an individual’s sense of happiness.  It turns out it can, even in small doses.  Something, the study found, is better than nothing.

They found getting even as little as ten minutes of physical activity a week can make a “significant difference” in mood, but Houston personal trainer Ricky Jackson, who is the National Personal Trainer of the Month, says don’t stop there: you’re just warming up.

“Exercising, physical exertion will create a better state of mind because it releases the endorphins that sometimes house the stress in the human body,” Jackson tells KTRH News.

The study found overweight people benefited most from the sense of happiness derived from exercise. They looked at every type of exercise, including aerobics, stretching and balance exercises, and found they all work equally well at improving outlook.

“I’m a firm believer, not just because I’m a personal trainer, but because I’ve seen people transition from a depressed state of mind to a more enthusiastic state of mind as a result of a workout, and consistently working out,” Jackson says.

Researchers found benefits of measurable happiness leveled off after two-and-a-half hours of exercise per week.

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