If you do this activity 4 or more times per week you could be more successful

Forget getting fit: exercise can pack big benefits to personal happiness and success, according to a recent survey.

Whether it’s running or weightlifting or even going for a leisurely bike ride around the neighborhood, people who set aside time to regularly exercise feel the benefits in their personal well-being.

The study, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of OXIGEN, found that people who exercise four or more times per week are happier and more successful than others who don’t.

The survey, which polled 2,000 American adults who exercise regularly, revealed that fitness freaks feel higher levels of happiness (75% vs. 25%), more success (74% vs. 26%), and more ambition (74% vs. 26%) compared to those who only work out one to three times per week.

The survey took into account the coronavirus pandemic, which forced non-essential businesses to close down back in March. Fitness centers such as gyms and boutique fitness were forced to shutter and only were able to reopen under strict occupancy and safety protocols months later.

As a result, people were forced to create their own fitness routines through digital workout classes and perhaps new running routines, which included participants adding more time to their workouts during the pandemic.

Sixty-four percent of participants said the pandemic caused them to further increase the amount of time they spend exercising. The study said it could be because people were looking for an increase in happiness — exercise has been proven to be an important part of battling anxiety and depression.

In March, nearly half of respondents (47%) said they spend more time exercising today than they did two years ago, a growing trend as people put fitness ahead nowadays compared to the past.

Exercise as a whole has a big impact on personal well-being, especially when it comes to those who are unable to fit in a workout during a long day. Seventy-eight percent of respondents said they feel less accomplished when they miss their workout before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the survey. The pandemic also has Americans focusing more on eating healthy foods (64%), drinking more watter (58%), and trying to get better sleep (57%).

Typically, the average exercise session lasts about 45 minutes and took place on participants’ own or at the gym.

More than a third said they like to workout in the morning, which was the most popular response, according to the survey. Sixty-four percent of respondents said early morning workouts help them prepare for the day, while more than half said it makes them feel more energized for work.

Forty-seven percent said it helps them be placed in a better headspace, according to the study.

“At a time when access to gyms and in-person fitness classes has become limited, exercise continues to be of paramount importance in most people’s daily routine, and these results affirm that it really can improve their overall mood and set them up for success on a daily basis,” OXIGEN VP of Marketing Joen Choe said in a press release. “With demanding schedules and continued exercise comes an increased need to prioritize the body’s recovery, ensuring that consumers can maintain mental and physical strength, especially at a time when resilience and the ability to rise above is key.”

As for workout routines, the workout itself only last about 26 minutes but participants placed a heavy focus on things like stretching (48%), staying hyrdrated (46%), and working on cool-down exercises (42%).

Seventy-four percent of respondents said they feel the will come out stronger after the pandemic compared to where they were before.