Thursday, November 19, 2009

Running Makes Brain Resistant to Stress

Some interesting new research on the stress and anxiety reduction benefits of sustained aerobic exercise. Written up here in the NY Times:

A few choice quotes from the piece, which cited research from U. of Colorado (emphasis added):

"For years, both in popular imagination and in scientific circles, it has been a given that exercise enhances mood. But how exercise, a physiological activity, might directly affect mood and anxiety — psychological states — was unclear. Now, thanks in no small part to improved research techniques and a growing understanding of the biochemistry and the genetics of thought itself, scientists are beginning to tease out how exercise remodels the brain, making it more resistant to stress."

And this:

Keep running or cycling or swimming. (Animal experiments have focused exclusively on aerobic, endurance-type activities.) You may not feel a magical reduction of stress after your first jog, if you haven’t been exercising. But the molecular biochemical changes will begin, Dr. Greenwood says. And eventually, he says, they become “profound.”

Here's to "profound" changes...

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