Monday, February 7, 2011

Running from Depression

For a while now I haven't felt like myself. I haven't wanted to do anything or really cared about much. Sure, I got myself out of bed every day and went to work....but I really, really didn't want to! I don't think I have ever felt like this in my life. Deep down, I knew what it really was.....I needed to exercise, not just exercise.....RUN!
Yesterday was a nice day....not too cold and the sun was out. It was calling me and I couldn't deny it any longer......I ran! Let me tell you....I feel sooooo much better. It really is like a drug for me. Running with the sun shining on my face is just the antidepressant I needed.
I found an interesting article on the subject and thought I would share it.....


The Neuroplasticity of the Brain Means that Exercise Reshapes BrainA definite relationship exists between exercise and depression. Exercise promotes new cell growth in the brain. If depression is a form of cell death, then exercise is the best strategy against this kind of neural paralysis. The neuroplasticity of the brain means that exercise reshapes the brain.

Prolonged and intense running releases endorphins or brain chemicals that produce a sense of elation. These endorphins are probably the reasons behind the proverbial runner's high.

While jogging, the body releases phenylalamine (PEA), a neurotransmitter that stimulates mental alertness; it also releases neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin (most commonly associated with antidepressants) that affect the mind in a positive way.

Not only does running release mood elevating neurochemicals, it also alters the rhythm of brain activity. The repetitive and rhythmic strides of jogging induces alpha brain waves, also known as the sensorimotor rhythm so often associated with meditation and the calm alertness of the "flow."

EEG sensors show that running reduces the thinking centers of the prefrontal cortex and increases the activity of the brain's motor centers. The emptying of the mind results in a sense of peace and calm.


1 comment:

Aubrey Anne said...

You've got me convinced! Now all I need is a pair of running shoes and some sunshine... cause let's face it, I am NOT going out there to start running in the hail we've got going on today.