Certain fitness routines do more to help avoid depression, stress or other emotional problems, new research finds
Researchers looking at the link between physical activity and mental health found that team sports fared best, followed by cycling, either on the road or a stationary bike.
.. It found that physical activity typically performed in groups, such as team sports and gym classes, provided greater benefits than running or walking.
.. People who played team sports like soccer and basketball reported 22.3% fewer poor mental-health days than those who didn’t exercise. Those who ran or jogged fared 19% better, while those who did household chores 11.8% better.
.. In a secondary analysis, the researchers found that yoga and tai chi—grouped into a category called recreational sports in the original analysis—had a 22.9% reduction in poor mental-health days. (Recreational sports included everything from yoga to golf to horseback riding.)
.. The researchers also found that those who exercise between 30 and 60 minutes had the best mental health, with 45 minutes the optimal duration. Exercising three to five times a week correlated with fewer dark days.