Exercise, Depression & Feeling Good


I had an unbelievably busy weekend, and my motivation to do anything this week – from making breakfast to making my bed – is at an equally unbelievable low ebb.

As I sat at my desk yesterday, making a half-hearted attempt to straighten things up, I ran across a piece I tore out of USA Today last month.  The title: Short workouts lift depression.

I don’t think I’m depressed (at least in the clinical sense) but as I re-read the article, I realized what I needed to do to lift myself out of my ennui.Get active.

The study reported in the December 2005 journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (from the American College of Sports Medicine) showed that depressed people who walked on a treadmill for 30 minutes reported feeling more vigorous and had a greater sense of psychological well-being for up to an hour after the workout.

The group who exercised was compared to a group who sat quietly for 30 minutes.  The quiet group did report reduced negative feelings such as tension, depression, anger and fatigue.But it was the exercise group who said they felt good after being active.The study was considered notable because it is among the first to show that exercise can have a positive effect on depression right away.

I knew that.But it’s easy to forget.  So I’m closing now.I have to go take a walk. If walking doesn’t appeal to you, maybe some of these ideas about winter fitness will.

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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