Positive Effects of Exercise on Depression.

Topics: Hippocampus, Antidepressant, Neurogenesis Pages: 2 (414 words) Published: July 27, 2012
The positive effects exercise on depression

It seems natural that exercise be incorporated into treatment programming for persons suffering from depression. The human body is designed for movement and perhaps not receiving the exercise our bodies were designed for impacts our emotional well-being. There is proof in both human and animal studies which indicate there is an emotional benefit from exercise, (HHS, 2011). Researchers from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have been looking closely at psychological processes and disorders in relation to neural circuitry, attempting to denote the physiological origins of emotive resilience which occurred in rats which had opportunities for exercise and exploration (HHS, 2011). Research has revealed that there is a possible link in the reduction of neurogenesis in the hippocampus and the incidence of depression as reported by Ernst Olson, Pinel, Lam & Christie (2005). Both anti-depressant medications and exercise increase the production of new neurons and there is strong evidence for the probable means to explain how exercise increases neurogenesis in the hippocampal region of humans (Ernst, et al, 2005). Identified were several molecules that proliferated in the course of exercise and also have an arousing consequence on adult neurogenesis: beta-endorphins, vascular endothelial growth factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and serotonin (Ernst, et al, 2005). Other research in this area has focussed on the duration, frequency and intensity of exercise in relation to altering depressive affect. Perraton, Kumar, & Machotka (2010) sought specific goals of identifying the limitations of exercise programming in order to offer clinicians research-based evidence for their exercise treatment planning of depressed individuals. Just how much exercise is needed to tip the scale? Three, thirty minute sessions of aerobic exercise, at a heart rate limit of 60-80%, per week for a minimum of eight weeks was...
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