Staying active increases your long-term happiness

Recent research adds another new benefit to regular physical activity – long-term happiness.

The last few gray days and weeks of winter can bring down anyone’s mood. Recent research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that individuals who exercise on a regular basis tend to be happier over the long-term. Research also showed that individuals that do not participant in regular physical activity tend to be unhappier. So not only do you get an immediate feeling of happiness after a good work out, you can also feel happier for year!swimming, staying active

We all have read the health benefits of being physically active. It helps you have stronger muscles and bones, helps with weight control, decreases your chances of getting heart disease and helps with flexibility. Feeling happier over the long-term is another added benefit and is wonderful reason to get active.

The best way to start is to get moving and make physical activity a regular part of the day. Each day our calendar is filled with commitments for work, ourselves and our families. But you truly need to prioritize your health and plan for including exercise in each day. Add it to your calendar, just like another appointment. The Choose MyPlate through United States Department of Agriculture recommends choosing activities you enjoy and can do regularly. What do you like to do? Ride a bike, dancing, golfing, gardening or swimming? Pick your favorite activity and get moving!

The recommended amount of physical activity varies according to age. Here are the following recommendations by age from Michigan State University Extension:

  • Adults should do at least two hours and 30 minutes each week of moderate physical activity or at least one hour and 15 minutes at the vigorous level. Additional health benefits are gained if you can be active five hours a week. It is also recommended to do strength training activities three days a week. If you are just starting with exercise, take it slow. It is important to stay safe and avoid injury.
  • Children and adolescents should do at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Their activities should be either at the moderate or vigorous intensity level. Children should also engage in muscle-strengthening activities three days a week. Making the activities fun and age appropriate is important at this age.

Being active is important for long-term health and weight control. Getting active, anyway you can, will help to create a healthier and happier you!

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