The amount of exercise needed for mental health benefits can vary depending on individual factors, such as age, fitness level, and overall health. However, as a general guideline, the American Heart Association recommends that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week, spread out over at least three days.
For mental health benefits specifically, research suggests that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most days of the week can be effective at reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, boosting mood, and improving overall mental health.
However, any amount of physical activity can be beneficial for mental health, and even small amounts of exercise can help improve mood and reduce stress. It’s also important to find a type of exercise that you enjoy and can stick to over the long term, as consistency is key for experiencing the mental health benefits of exercise.