Low intensity physical exercise may be most effective at boosting your mood.
In the study, 419 participants wore accelerometers to track their movement over four days.
They also answered questionnaires about their exercise habits, mood, and pain.
Not surprisingly, the researchers found that people who spent the most time sitting around reported worse levels of wellbeing than those who got moving more often.
But the kinds of exercise that helped their moods the most maybe a little more unexpected: The researchers discovered that engaging in light physical activity—the equivalent of taking a leisurely walk without breathing hard or increasing your heart rate—or moderate physical activity—such as walking a 15 to 20-minute mile—was most beneficial at improving the moods of people who were otherwise sedentary.
People who engaged in moderate physical activity also reported lower levels of pain, too.
Interestingly, those performed vigorous physical activity—equivalent to jogging a 13-minute mile—showed no change in wellbeing.
Still, that actually can be taken as good news to people who love incorporating high intensity workouts in their routine, the researchers said in a press release.
That’s because previous research has actually linked vigorous workouts to tanking moods.
This study shows that while a hard workout might not boost your mood, it probably won’t crash it, either.