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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Post-Exercise 'Glow' May Last 12 Hours




"When it comes to boosting your mood, exercise is the gift that keeps on giving and giving, new research suggests.
In fact, the feel-good afterglow a workout brings may last far beyond the hour or so that's been previously assumed.
"Moderate intensity aerobic exercise improves mood immediately and those improvements can last up to 12 hours," concluded study lead researcher Dr. Jeremy Sibold, assistant professor of rehabilitation and movement science at the University of Vermont, Burlington.
The findings were presented this week at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Seattle.
Other studies have found a mood-boosting effect to exercise. But the other research hadn't tracked the effect for as long as Sibold and his team did. "This is one of the few studies that actually looked at a much longer window, 24 hours," he said. "The question I was interested in was, 'How long does that feel-good effect, that improvement, last?'"
To find out, Sibold and co-author Kathy Berg randomly assigned 48 healthy men and women to a control group that did not exercise, or to a group that did exercise. The participants ranged from 18 to 25 years old. At the start of the study, all participants completed a standard survey of mood. The exercisers then rode on a stationary bike for 20 minutes at moderate intensity.
All participants then repeated the mood survey at one, two, four, eight, 12 and 24 hours later.
The mood of the exercisers was better than that of the sedentary group immediately after the workout and for up to 12 hours later, Sibold found.
"This goes a long way to show that even moderate aerobic exercise has the potential to mitigate the daily stress that results in your mood being disturbed," he said.
Men and women seemed to benefit equally, and the fitness level of the participant didn't seem to matter, the researchers noted.
Experts believe that exercise's mood-boosting effects are partly due to a rise in levels of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, such as endorphins, in the brain.
The findings point yet again to exercise as a cheap, easily accessible tool against blue moods and even depression, Sibold said. "I think that's really important for the general public to know - depression is so widespread."
The "dose" of exercise needed to lift mood is not a lot, Sibold said. "We aren't talking about a Lance Armstrong workout." A few minutes a day could pay off, he said.
He urged people to pick an activity they enjoy. Gardening, walking, square dancing or other activities all count, Sibold said.
The American College of Sports Medicine guidelines support the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. That can be done in five days a week in 30-minute sessions, experts suggest.
The new findings, according to Sibold, should improve the ability of health care professionals to prescribe exercise as a treatment for mood enhancement in healthy people.
The study results came as no surprise to Jennifer Mears, an exercise physiologist and corporate fitness specialist in Colorado Springs, Colo. "There are a lot of other research studies and information out there that would back that up," she said of Sibold's findings.
What is different and noteworthy about his study, she agreed, is the longer follow-up time."


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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed



Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia



A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed



Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein



The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi



The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller



Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns



Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama



Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -



Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.