The relationship between sport and psychological well-being has been investigated through dozens of scientific studies. As is known, physical activity allows release Endorphins e SerotoninThese are happiness hormones. The release of these neurotransmitters guarantees a state of euphoria. The question that arises now is how much physical activity would we need to do to make sure our bodies release these essential substances for mental health? A meta-analysis conducted by the University of Michigan in the United States showed that 10 minutes of physical activity per day is sufficient for older adults. For others, it takes a few more minutes. So the central role of moderate and continuous physical exercise was confirmed. Already Recent studiesOr show how exercising in these times of restrictions due to the Covid pandemic was a cure-all.
Sports and mental health: The study analyzed data from hundreds of thousands of people
Experts from the University of North America placed about twenty studies conducted on this topic under a magnifying glass. Hundreds of thousands of data have been analyzed, with people coming from a large number of countries spread across all continents. The results of their work were published in the scientific journal Journal of Happiness Studies.
The study results seem to leave little room for doubt. The chances of living a happy life increase by 52% among those who constantly dedicate themselves to the sport. These odds decrease proportionately as the minutes spent each day decrease in physical exercise, until they become negative proportions for those who lead a sedentary life.
How much exercise should you do to be happy?
There is no need to overdo it with physical activity, quite the opposite. Exercise should be moderate. Of course it depends on the age and health conditions of each person. The analysis of the research led experts to say that 10 minutes per day is sufficient to benefit the release of endorphins and serotonin. Even among those who have overcome serious illnesses, such as cancer, getting less exercise allows for a much higher quality of life.
Athletic and psychological well-being: useless if not counterproductive to exaggeration
That said, excessive physical activity can be counter-productive. The guidelines recommend exercising 150 minutes a week. The study showed that beyond this threshold there is no further improvement in our mood.
Body weight also affects happiness. Young adults with a perfect weight have a higher chance of happiness than those who are overweight. But even those who are overweight or obese are likely to be happy if they participate in physical activity.
Are there exercises better than others?
The answer from the experts is no. No physical activity will make you happier than others. Of course, the advice is to follow your personal preferences. The important thing is to dedicate a few minutes every day to physical activity. You can choose cardio activities, such as brisk walking, running, cycling and swimming. Or activities like tennis and paddleball, which are becoming more fashionable, or futsal. You can indulge in dancing or lifting weights. In short, it is essential to move about every day, not the sport to be played.