Press-Republican

Columns

August 27, 2013

Exercise has emotional benefits

It is no secret that exercise is beneficial for multiple health reasons. It strengthens your heart, increases energy levels, lowers blood pressure, improves muscle tone and strength, reduces body fat, and builds bone density. 

The benefits are not only physical, but emotional as well. Many studies suggest that individuals who exercise regularly benefit with a positive boost in mood and lower rates of depression.

NATURAL ANTIDEPRESSANT

When a person exercises, endorphins are released in the body. Endorphins are chemicals that interact with brain receptors that reduce a person’s perception of pain. Endorphins encourage a euphoric feeling in the body, similar to morphine. This post-activity feeling has also been called “runner’s high.” Endorphins bind to the same neuron receptors that connect to some pain medications. However, unlike narcotics, the activation of these receptors does not lead to addiction or dependence.

Exercise also reduces immune-system chemicals that can exacerbate depression. Along with this, an increase in core body temperature could have a calming effect on a person. It has also been suggested that sleep can be improved. 

In terms of treatment of clinical depression, research has shown that exercise may be a useful alternative to antidepressant medication.

BOOSTING CONFIDENCE

Emotional benefits could include increases in self-confidence, a decrease in negative thoughts, better coping skills and an improved drive for social interaction.

Accomplishing exercise goals, whether big or small, can boost self-confidence. When someone finishes exercising, they tend to have a more positive self-image. 

Exercise also acts as a distraction from negative thoughts and worries. These thoughts can accumulate and fuel anxiety and depression. 

Participating in exercise is a healthy, proactive means of dealing with depression, as opposed to drinking alcohol or not doing anything at all. 

Many times there is some sort of social interaction in a fitness setting. This social interaction can positively affect a person and help fight depression symptoms.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Tobias_Sue_012914.jpg World in palm of our hands

    A newsroom workshop made writer Susan Tobias realize how far technology has come since she started working at the Press-Republican.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mulholland_Jonathan.jpg Running tips to get you in top form

    Different limb lengths, tighter muscles, stiffer joints, prior injuries all play role in determining your running style, Jonathan Mulholland writes.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • clute_cropped.jpg When children are put at risk

    Adults who deal drugs, commit domestic violence and other crimes with kids present are guilty of yet another crime, writes columnist Penny Clute.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Walace_Jolene 7-12_cropped.jpg Let these tips on planting trees take root

    You may think that digging a hole and plopping the tree in will suffice, and it will if you only want the tree to live a short time, columnist Jolene Wallace writes.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • amy_ivy.jpg Is it time to plant? Not yet

    All we can do is wait and see how things get through, columnist Amy Ivy writes.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time