So I can’t promise that if you are in financial difficulty, exercise is going to work better than more money to release you from that stress. However, a new study published by the lancet has shown that exercise is fantastic at reducing the feeling of negative emotional states.
The study asked ~1.2 million people how often in the month they felt a negative emotional state. The average of the whole 1.2million people showed that most of us have about 3.5 days a month where we feel like we suffer negative emotional burdens.
For those of us with a diagnosed emotional or depressive state, the burden experienced was ~11 days!
The good news is that popular sports, cycling and a good gym reduced that burden the most, by reducing it by ~20-25% in healthy populations and ~15-20% in diagnosed populations. This averages out at around 3.5 days less for those with a diagnosed negative mood state and those in the normal ranges of emotional burden would lose around 1.4 days of feeling the burden a month – what a relief!
Although team sports, cycling and the gym came top 3 for reducing negative burden, the frequency and duration of the exercise also had an effect on how successful it removed the burden for that person.
The best length of time to exercise for was ~45 minutes – ~60 minutes for the gym and cycling, and a little bit longer for popular team sports at around 90 minutes (who would have thought it? 90minutes of football anyone??).
The best frequency to relieve the burden of negative mental health was 3 or 5 days per week. 4 sessions saw a rebound effect probably caused by the fact that session lengths were not tapered for the extra session from 3, and so mild overtraining occurred!). I would recommend that 3 sessions need to be around an hour to maximise effect (like we do down at the lab for our clients on the Lifestyle Transformation program) or 30-45 minutes 5x a week, although that can be a bit hard for people with a busy schedule!
Cycling frequency had the best dosage at 5 sessions a week and popular sports were also 3 times a week.
So there you have it! Exercising can drastically reduce the amount of time you feel under the burden of a negative mental state! I have even given you the three best ways to do it!
Also, if you don’t like the gym normally, then why not come and see us and the Faultless Fitness family to see if we can help!