And while it was previously thought that people needed to participate in regular exercise to really feel the benefits, new research suggests that just one workout can lift mood, reduce stress and lessen anxiety.
Experts from New York University's Center for Neural Science are behind the latest review, with the team looking at how exercise impacts the brain by examining brain scans.
“Exercise interventions are currently being used to help address everything from cognitive impairments in normal ageing, minimal cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease to motor deficits in Parkinson's disease and mood states in depression,” author Dr Wendy Suzuki explained.
“Our review highlights the neural mechanisms and pathways by which exercise might produce these clinically relevant effects.”
The team noted the most consistent behavioural effects of short-term exercise are enhanced mood, decreased stress levels and improved executive functions. And after just one workout it was found the brain was activated in multiple areas
So now there’s no excuse not to head to the gym or pound the pavement!
And if you needed any more convincing that exercise is the ultimate mood lifter, previous studies have shown keeping fit on a regular basis can cut cut depression rates almost in half, from 16.3 per cent to 8.3 per cent.
If rigorous exercise scares you then you’ll love what scientists at the University of Connecticut found; a short walk is more likely to lift your mood than an intensive workout.
© Cover Media