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Short Bursts of Exercise Boost Mood and Energy

The benefits of exercise on body shape and the heart are well known, but a new study reports that as little as 10 minutes of moderate exercise daily can improve mood and reduce fatigue.

The findings were based on 14 female college students who rode a stationary bicycle at a moderate clip for 10 minutes, 20 minutes or 30 minutes, or sat quietly for 30 minutes. The results showed significant declines in levels of fatigue and confusion and significant improvements in energy levels after 10 minutes of exercise. Exercise longer than 10 minutes did not see additional improvements in their mood or overall sense of well-being.

"In general, the results suggest that exercising for 10 minutes at an aerobic level of 60% (of maximum heart rate) is sufficient for increasing vigor, decreasing fatigue, and decreasing total negative mood state," the researchers concluded.

Source: Health Psychology, 2001.