Boost your mood more, with a group fitness class.

Headed to the gym after a long stressful day at work? Instead of hopping on the treadmill or doing a solo weights circuit, check your gym’s group exercise offerings.

According to a 12-week study in “The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association,” 69 stressed out medical students were separated into three groups. One group did a Les Mills group fitness class, another exercised alone or with two or fewer partners (running, weight lifting and so on), while the final group did not exercise at all (the control group).

Those who participated in the Les Mills group fitness class—a total of 25 students—showed decreased perceived stress (26 percent), and a significant increase in physical (24.8 percent), mental (12.6 percent) and emotional (26 percent) health.

Psychological distress from intense jobs—such as in the medical field—can lead to depression, anxiety and a host of other health problems. Exercise, however, is known to positively affect mental and emotional health. So instead of heading home and allowing your stress to follow, try a group fitness class at your gym. Not only could it help you shake off your stress and boost your mood, but you may just meet a new friend or two—and burn some calories in the process!

Photo credit: Jacob Lund, Adobe Stock