Exercising and socializing can lead to better mental health

 
By Staff Writer • Published: November 7th, 2013
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
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The answer to dealing with stress and anxiety could just mean spending time at the gym chatting with friends.

A study from the University of Minnesota discovered that young adults who exercise and socialize regularly reported better mental health than peers who didn’t. In fact, according to the study’s authors, some of the mental benefits associated with exercising may be due to the social aspect of it.

Researchers defined socializing as having five or more friends or spending more than two hours a day with others.

More than 14,800 students from 94 colleges in the United States were surveyed about their exercise habits and moods. The experiment found that socializing is an important aspect of exercising.

According to the American Journal of Health Promotion, those who engaged in vigorous exercise for 20 minutes at least three days a week were less likely to report poor mental health and perceived stress.

Colleges can decrease mental health problems in their students by introducing more exercise programs and group fitness classes to promote socialization.

People with depression or anxiety can benefit from socializing as much as or more than exercising. The combination of the two can produce even better results.

It’s also important to urge your kids to get active and to stay active throughout their development. The study also discovered that students who were physically active during their adolescence were more likely to stay physically active when they went to college.

Although the study found a correlation between socializing and exercising, researchers stressed the importance of first developing a habit of exercising to overall boost both your physical and mental health.

Getting and staying fit is a big part of being well, physically and mentally.