BY ALEX ROBERTS, JOE

The benefits of exercise go far beyond physical gains

Bigger biceps and a better bench press may strike you as the most obvious reasons for getting a workout in. They undoubtedly rate high on the aspirations of most gym goers. But research suggests hitting the gym is also great for your mental health too.

One recent study found that exercise beats a pay rise of almost £27,000 when it comes to having the greater impact on mental health levels.

It looks as if money really can’t buy you happiness.

What’s more, the findings were consistent among any kind of exercise. So whether you like to lift weights, cycle or run on the treadmill, consistent physical training is sure to help your mental health.

The best types of exercise for boosting mental health

Although the study found all kinds of exercise to be beneficial, those with the biggest reduction in a mental health burden were:

  • Popular team sports (22.3% lower)
  • Cycling (21.6% lower)
  • Cardio training and other gym workouts (20.1% lower)

Scientists found that exercise produced the best results with durations of 45 minutes and frequencies of three to five times per week.

Which training plan is best?

Stick to the style of training you most enjoy doing. That will increase your chances of adhering to your exercise plan consistently, and that will likely bring about gains in your mental and physical health.

If lifting weights if your favourite fitness hobby, we produced a handy guide to help you build your own workout plan.

Check it out here.

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