Exercise Combats Depression

Mind-Body-Spirit News:

Exercise improves depression. In fact, some studies even show that exercise is more effective than prescription antidepressants in preventing depression relapses (see Psychosomatic Medicine [2000; 62, 633–38]). To date, however, scientists have been unable to identify the causal mechanisms that would clarify how exercise helps. Now, a study published in Neuropsychopharmacology (2006; 31, 256–64) has confirmed that exercise stimulates new brain cell growth, or neurogenesis. This could explain why working out makes us feel better.

Investigators from the Karolinksa Institute in Sweden studied depressed rats. (They were depressed according to the Flinders Sensitive Line and the Flinders Resistant Line, which are used to assess depression in animals.) Some rats were given access to running wheels, while others were not. Regular running resulted in an antidepressant effect and increased brain cell proliferation in the rats.

More research is required to confirm whether similar effects would occur in humans.

For the latest research, statistics, sample classes, and more, "Like" IDEA on Facebook here.

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

IDEA Author/Presenter
Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA’s mind-bo... more less
October 2007

© 2007 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

Get the award-winning IDEA Fitness Journal delivered to your door every month!

Get IDEA Fitness Journal

Article Comments

Add Comment

3 + 0 =
View all questions