(CNN)The benefits of exercise are widely known: it helps you live longer and lowers risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. A new study published Wednesday in The Lancet Psychiatry journal suggests that when done in moderation, it leads to better mental health as well.
The researchers analyzed responses from 1.2 million adults in the United States taken from a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey given in 2011, 2013 and 2015. The average number of days of poor mental health per person in the past month was around 3.4, according to the study.
Those who reported exercising had about 1.5, or 43%, fewer days of “bad self-reported mental health” in the past month compared to those who did not exercise. Poor mental health was reported in the study as stress, depression and trouble with emotions.