Wednesday, December 30, 2009

How Much Exercise Do You Need to Do to Improve Your Mood?

One of the aspects of exercise that I enjoy the most is how it improves my mood and increases my energy level. It's my experience that I need to work out at a moderate to high level for at least 30 minutes 3-4 times a week to really get that positive impact. To me, moderate to high level means that walking does not cut it anymore. I need to do the elliptical or one of the classes at my gym.

An interesting article at the New York Times explores how much exercise one needs to do to improve her mood. If you are not active at all, as little as 20 minutes a week (and no, that's not a typo) can work, but the sweet spot is 150 minutes of moderate activity a week.

In case the link above did not work, here it is spelled out:
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/30/phys-ed-how-much-exercise-to-avoid-feeling-gloomy/

Have you discovered that working out regularly affects your mood? Is there a minimum you need to do to get that positive effect?

4 comments:

MaryC on December 30, 2009 at 10:21 AM said...

Interesting article, Michelle. I find that it depends on the activity. Since I'm a teacher and live in a city, I'm walking all the time - so walking does nothing for me in terms of exercise. However, short bursts of housework can get me out of a funk (strange as it sounds ;) Running in short bursts with my dog also has an exhilarating effect. Dancing for a few minutes to a lively song will do it too.

Come to think of it, maybe the regular walking keeps me in a good mood most of the time. :)

Michelle Butler on December 30, 2009 at 11:03 AM said...

Thinking about it a bit longer, I think it depends on how much I increase my heart rate. When I was very out of shape, walking could really increase my heart rate. Now, it takes more.

I can't imagine house work getting me out of a funk. It would probably be good for me if it did. :)

Mary on January 1, 2010 at 7:36 PM said...

I am always amazed at how much housework actually makes me sweat. Scrubbing floors and bathrooms is hard work and it makes you feel good seeing everything all sparkly clean. That improves my mood greatly. I am still working on daily exercise.

Michelle Butler on January 1, 2010 at 8:09 PM said...

I need to develop this ability to feel good after house cleaning. Whatever works for you two Maries is something to keep up. :)

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