happiness and exercise
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Want to Be Happy? Do This One Thing

Survey says: People who exercise trend happier than those who don’t.

By Kellee Katagi

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It’s part of America’s DNA—written right into our nation’s first official document—to pursue happiness. What our Founding Fathers might not have known is how simple the path to happiness might be.

A recent analysis of survey questions posed to 1.2 million-plus American adults showed a strong link between how often people exercised and how consistently happy they felt—regardless of their age, race, gender, marital status, and, yes, even income. Movement was a greater predictor of happiness than money.

All kinds and amounts of exercise correlated with fewer “down” days, but the strongest link was for people who exercised three to five days per week, for 30 to 60 minutes each workout session. As far as specific activities, the biggest winners were team sports, cycling, and aerobic and gym activities, such as running and strength training.

The takeaway is simple: If you want to be happier, move more. As Thomas Jefferson declared, it’s your fundamental right.

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