Zumba may be good for your body and your mind

Zumba may be good for your body and mind

WSFA/NBC - A study published last month in the Lancet Psychiatry reveals the number one exercise that has the most benefit to your mental health.

The fast footwork of Zumba is a popular way to burn calories.

"It's kind of exercise in disguise because you don't feel like you're exercising, you just feel like you're having fun and dancing," said Zumba student Brett Unell.

A new study finds group exercise isn't just good for your body, it's the best kind of physical exercise for the mind. The study of 1.2 million Americans analyzed the effect of different types of exercise on overall mental health and the people who reported having the fewest amount of days being stressed or depressed were the ones who worked out in a group or who played team sports.

"It's fun and everyone roots each other on and it's motivating," Zumba student Laine Steinfeld said.

Many believe it's that social component behind the mental health boost. Longtime instructor Kim Stevens-Sturkie says she's seen the positive mental change in a lot of her students.

"If you're having a bad day, you come into class and you're taking either a strength class or a dance class or a cycle class, you just leave feeling so much better," Stevens-Sturkie said.

That means staying active with a few friends around you, might just be the key to a happier you.

Also in the study, team sports faired the best followed by cycling.

Doctors say any form of exercise, even household chores, can boost mental health.

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