Exercise Decreases Depression --> Why? - ABCbodybuilding

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Old 06-25-2006, 12:27 AM
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Default Exercise Decreases Depression --> Why?

Well,

I recently attended the American College of Sports Medicine conference and viewed an excellent symposium on exercise and mental health. Further, Gabriel and I have just completed a manuscrip that we will submit on mechanisms associated with exercise which lower depression.

In short, the evidence is very clear that exercise decreases depression. For example. Dr. McCullagh, who Gabriel is working on a number of studies for publication as we speak conducted a meta analysis in which those who exercised had moderately lower depression than those who did not. In clinical populations, Landers found that exercise had a large effect on lowering depression, and that these effects increased to very large the greater the duration of exercise was. I.E. greater than 9 weeks of exercise compared to 8 weeks or less.

Perhaps most exciting is that exercise lowers depression as much as drugs( the evidence is very strong here), and in cases more than drugs! Further, the side effects of exercise are health, a better body etc. Where as the negative effects of drugs are too many to list.

Here is the research question fellow academics and scientists. Why is this occuring? Why do you feel exercise lowers depression?

Note that depression in its greatest form can described as an affective (eg. mood) disorder characterized by psychological (mental), behavioral (our everyday behaviors or action), and physiological symptoms (actual structural or physiological changes in the body, such as changes in hormone levels) (Cryan et al., 2002). A number of the more prevalent symptoms include depressed mood, irritability, low self esteem, fatigue, and recurrent thoughts of death and suicide (Bear, Connors, and Paradiso, 2006).

thanks for your valuable input!
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Old 06-27-2006, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: Exercise Decreases Depression --> Why?

This is a great research topic.

It is insane how much money people are spending on depression pills every year. Yet, scientists have been saying for a while now, that exercise is probably the best anti-depressant solution in existence. And guess what--it costs nothing! Just grab a pair of shoes and go run. [img]/forum/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img] Or at most, buy a gym membership.

When analyzing this guys, I would think critically. Mechanisms could include: structural changes, chemical changes, perhaps psychological changes, such as distractions, and social interaction, etc.

There are a lot of theories on this. The President has come up with an awesome one, that we hope to publish on soon. I am sure he will share that with you guys later soon in this thread.
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Old 06-27-2006, 08:13 PM
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Default Re: Exercise Decreases Depression --> Why?

That is an exceptional report. My compliments to you all. I felt lik eexercise helps everything. Now that this being brought out about depression maybe people wil take a closer look instead of thnking the vain ideas and see health more closey. Well done! My honorabe hat is off to you! [img]/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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Old 06-28-2006, 08:41 AM
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Default Re: Exercise Decreases Depression --> Why?

[ QUOTE ]
This is a great research topic.

It is insane how much money people are spending on depression pills every year. Yet, scientists have been saying for a while now, that exercise is probably the best anti-depressant solution in existence. And guess what--it costs nothing! Just grab a pair of shoes and go run. [img]/forum/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img] Or at most, buy a gym membership.

When analyzing this guys, I would think critically. Mechanisms could include: structural changes, chemical changes, perhaps psychological changes, such as distractions, and social interaction, etc.

There are a lot of theories on this. The President has come up with an awesome one, that we hope to publish on soon. I am sure he will share that with you guys later soon in this thread.

[/ QUOTE ]


Structural change : Increased muscle mass/decreased bodyfat. Increased fitness and general well being

chemical change: well I imagine the increased cortisol and endoprhins from exercise would have a relaxing effect. Also increase in growth hormones and other anabolic hormones may contribute to a sense of well being

Physiological effects: Well I think a lot of times people get depressed because they see their lives stagnating or even heading back wards (monotonous lifestyle, loss of job/family member, injury etc..et..) and exercise gives them an outlet that they can achieve on. When they notice the changes in their body it's like a beacon for them, that there is something they are doing that is improving there life and is exciting.

Well at least those are my thoughts. I remember when I was really injured how depressed I got when I wasn't training and numerous times I've seen board members exclaiming how they hate not being able to train.
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Old 06-28-2006, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: Exercise Decreases Depression --> Why?

This is a little out there but... In another thread in this forum I have posted a journal article which outlines the relationship between physical fitness and mortality. Perhaps there is an innate, inherent drive within the human individual toward as long a life asa possible and this is driven by a mechanism which associates (or even rewards) activites which can prolong the life cycle (such as exercise, good nutrition, sunshine etc) with feeling good (general well being, good mood etc.). Similarly, activities of detriment to the life cycle (inactivity, poor nutrition, insufficient sleep, lack of sunshine) are discouraged by stimulating feelings of depression.

Also, if you are interested in the area of depression, suicide etc it is interesting to investigate the association between weather and suicide rates. The very high levels of suicide in Ireland (compared with mainland europe) are often associated with the dull, rainy climate here. I think studies have been done on this topic but do not know of any off hand.
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Old 06-28-2006, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Exercise Decreases Depression --> Why?

I would think that, at least for guys, working out raises testosterone levels, and I would think that depressed guys often have low self esteem. So by working out and raising T-levels, you get both a psychological boost by looking better body-wise, and a chemical boost by the testosterone.
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Old 06-28-2006, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: Exercise Decreases Depression --> Why?

[ QUOTE ]
chemical change: well I imagine the increased cortisol and endoprhins from exercise would have a relaxing effect. Also increase in growth hormones and other anabolic hormones may contribute to a sense of well being

[/ QUOTE ]

Great two hormones to discuss. Interestingly enough on cortisol, it appears to be inversely related to positive mood acutely (which is not necessarily that bad because there are other hormones that you mention that help counter this), and chronically it actually appears to be a main culperate for actually causing atrophy in certain regions of the brain. Essentially it appears that certain regions of the brain, particularly the hippocampus are associated with the capacity to constantly form new cells daily! When this process is interferred with, the hippocampus atrophies and depression is strongly linked with this.

I'm also glad you discussed endorphins. There is a lot of debate as to their function in exercise and depression, whcih I'll discuss
in my summary and thoughts latter. But in short, I think they are a critical component to the antidepressant effects of exercise.

[ QUOTE ]
Perhaps there is an innate, inherent drive within the human individual toward as long a life asa possible and this is driven by a mechanism which associates (or even rewards) activites which can prolong the life cycle (such as exercise, good nutrition, sunshine etc) with feeling good (general well being, good mood etc.). Similarly, activities of detriment to the life cycle (inactivity, poor nutrition, insufficient sleep, lack of sunshine) are discouraged by stimulating feelings of depression.

[/ QUOTE ]

Very insightful! That sounds like it would make a great paper!
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Old 06-28-2006, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: Exercise Decreases Depression --> Why?

[ QUOTE ]


Very insightful! That sounds like it would make a great paper!

[/ QUOTE ]

Some of us have more than enough work on papers to be doing at the moment thank you very much!!! [img]/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 06-28-2006, 10:46 PM
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Default Re: Exercise Decreases Depression --> Why?

[ QUOTE ]
Some of us have more than enough work on papers to be doing at the moment thank you very much!!!

[/ QUOTE ]

Ha ha! Too true! The formatting of our paper is comming nicely as well Ryan!
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Old 07-03-2006, 05:16 AM
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Default Re: Exercise Decreases Depression --> Why?

This is a topic I am super interested in, I wish I had the time right now to research it!!! [img]/forum/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
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