A Walk A Day Keeps The Blues Away



Photo by stacy77

There's nothing like a good walk through a graveyard (as we learned on Tuesday), or wherever it is that you're most comfortable. It's a great way to release energy and stay healthy no matter what your fitness level. And, according to Dr. Michael C. Miller, member of the Department of Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Mental Health Letter, walking regularly can have the same affect on your brain as an antidepressant.




Though regular, moderate exercise like walking won't give you the "runners high" of intense workouts, it does increase blood and energy flow to the brain, improving mental acuity. As reported on ABC News in Boston, even a single exercise session can produce improvements. The report referred to a study done by researchers at the University of Texas who tested people with major depressive disorders. One group was asked to rest quietly while the other group walked on a treadmill for 30 minutes. Though both groups saw improvements in mood afterward, those who walked on the treadmill had more positive feelings of well-being and vigor.

But as many of us know, motivation is the biggest hurdle to overcome when depressed. Dr. Miller admits that for some people suffering from severe depression, it's not a cure-all and they should seek medical attention. “But in terms of general health, exercise is good and seems to make your brain work better,” he said. “It seems to do all the good things your brain needs with very few side effects.”



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