It’s no secret that exercise can produce powerful mood-boosting endorphins. But do you really need to break a sweat to reap those benefits? A new study in the Journal of Health Psychology says no: Simply getting up and moving around seems to reduce feelings of depression, say researchers at the University of Connecticut.
Light physical activity was actually associated with the biggest emotional benefit in the study, compared to moderate and high-intensity exercise. No association was found between emotional state and vigorous physical activity, but that can still be considered good news, say the authors. The finding contradicts a previous study that suggested vigorous exercise could actually worsen psychological wellbeing.