Physical activity helps improve depression
One of the most difficult health conditions to tackle is depression. While there are several types of illnesses one has to protect oneself against, there are also mentally challenging conditions like depression that is widespread among people these days.
Depression is an invisible mental condition that kills people’s social and personal life gradually and when left untreated, or improperly treated, it could go up to the extent of totally ruining their overall health. Every individual is said to go through some form of depression at some point of time in their lives. However, there are effective ways to tackle depression if found in early stages.
In the very early stage, depression does not need a regular form of therapy and can be handled easily if appropriate ways are followed. Researchers at the Karolinska Institute of Stockholm, Sweden have found that physical activity triggers some changes in the skeletal muscles that can purge the blood of a substance that collects when depressed or stressed.
Jorge Ruas, principal investigator of the research at the university said, “”Skeletal muscle appears to have a detoxification effect that, when activated, can protect the brain from insults and related mental illness.” In addition, past studies have also confirmed that physical activity helps the release of endorphins or the feel-good hormones that will fight depression. It is now found that physical activity also produces another hormone that clears out depression.
Researchers have used mice in the studies and also muscles of exercising humans to learn how exercise keeps us away from stress. They had already known that a particular protein called PGC – 1a1 is released during the exercise and it was unclear as to how this hormone helps fight depression. To find an answer to this, mice were genetically engineered to have high levels of this proteins and they were put in a highly stressful environment. This was done to normal mice too and after a week, the normal mice were found to be depressed while the genetically engineered mice were found to be healthy.