Thursday, September 10, 2009

Excercise and Depression.

We all know that excercise lifts ones mood, no?

I was feeling fantastic--almost giddy--when we left for vacation the last week of July. But it has been a long and slow decline into grim lethargy and growing hopelessness.

I was browsing 3FatChicks today and came across this article. Maybe all I need to do is get back on that stationary bicycle for 20 minutes. If I can find the energy.


*Missing Exercise Can Be Depressing*

By Miranda Hitti

June 7, 2005 -- Skipping exercise for a week or two may cramp your
mood, says a study that turned regular exercisers into couch potatoes.

"We were able to measure negative results from withdrawal of exercise
in just two weeks," says researcher Ali Berlin, MS, in a news release.
Berlin works at the military's Uniformed Services University of the
Health Sciences. She presented her findings in Nashville, Tenn., at the
American College of Sports Medicine's annual meeting.

*Stick to It*

The take-home message: Once you start exercising, keep it up. That
doesn't mean becoming a slave to the Stairmaster or a fanatic about any
particular workout. Adjustments may be necessary from time to time.

For example, "if someone is a regular jogger or bicyclist and find they
cannot do the activity for a short time, they need to do something else
like walking until they can resume their preferred activity," says

*Forced to Take a Break*

Berlin's study included 40 regular exercisers. "We were not looking at
elite athletes; the study participants were people who are regularly
active at a moderate level," says Berlin.

First, the participants took mood and fitness tests. Next, half were
forbidden from exercising for two weeks. The others were told to follow
their normal fitness routine.

The tests were repeated one and two weeks later. The results showed
that the forced exercise "vacation" didn't recharge anyone's batteries.
Instead, it left the former exercisers feeling worse than before.

It's one of those strange-but-true health facts: The more active you
are, the more energy you have. That is, as long as you're not ill or
engaging in ridiculous amounts of exercise that push the body too hard.

The CDC recommends that adults get at least 30 minutes of
moderate-intensity physical activity five or more days per week.

*No Exercise, Crummy Mood*

"After one week we began to see changes," says Berlin. After two weeks,
those changes had deepened. Two weeks of slothfulness had pushed the
former exercisers into a grim state.

By then, they were significantly more tense, tired, and less vigorous.
The more out of shape they became, the more their mood and energy level
worsened. "What this tells us is that any interruption in a regular
fitness routine can have a negative [impact]," says Berlin.

So what's a person to do when the weather is miserable or time seems
scarcer than usual? Get creative. Tweak your routine, choosing other
activities to stay physically and mentally fit, Berlin suggests.

Health care workers may also want to keep an eye out for depression
symptoms in exercisers who get sidelined by injury or illness, she


SOURCES: American College of Sports Medicine 52nd Annual Meeting,
Nashville, Tenn., June 1-4, 2005. News release, American College of
Sports Medicine. CDC: "Physical Activity for Everyone:


lauralynne said...

I find myself caught in this cycle all the time! I'm really worn out right now due to traveling between Florida and Alabama every weekend. Which, in addition to the actual travel weariness, piles on the feeling of not having any break before marching back into work Monday morning. I'm not too motivated to workout. But when I do...I feel so much better. About 18 minutes into my 30 minute workout is the point when I'm feeling really strong and just awake. This doesn't mean I exercise every time I should, but I do look forward to it now that I made the correlation between the 18 minutes and the "you rock the world" feeling.

So I wish you luck finding time or's not easy!

drwende said...

Exercise is like housework and so many other things -- it's easy to think and plan it to death, when the trick is to just get in there and do it. Hop on that bike!

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