Exercise doesn't improve mood?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by chess9, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    http://www.medpagetoday.com/PrimaryCare/ExerciseFitness/tb/10420

    This seems to fly in the face of the received wisdom of the last 20 years or so. I have a psychiatrist friend in NY who has put a large number of his patients on running/cycling programs and he has anecdotally told me that improvements in depression were substantial.

    I've always thought I was an easy going, laid back guy mainly because I worked out so much, not because I inherited the Southern California Gene. ;)

    Anyway, looks like another myth has been busted.

    -Robert
     
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  2. albino smurf

    albino smurf Professional

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    They lost me after that BS. There is nothing more empowering and uplifting than a good hard workout.
     
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  3. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I'm not buying it. Perhaps it is dependent on the individual's brain chemistry.
     
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  4. tzinc

    tzinc Semi-Pro

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    We know endorphins are released when one excercises. These are happy chemicals. They will make you feel better. At the same time this will not cure major depression but no one really expected it to. It gives you a temporary boost that's all. This study is missing the point.
     
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  5. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    Exercise releases endorphines. Endorphines make you happy. Happy people don't shoot their husbands... they just don't!
     
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  6. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    You know, I agree with you! I do not understand the study results.... But, I will keep an open mind.

    -Robert
     
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  7. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    First, endorphins have nothing to do with maintenance of mood. They stimulate the same receptors as opiates and are only released during exercise as your body's way of BRIEFLY combatting pain during exertion. They QUICKLY dissipate back to baseline levels and have never been thought by psychopharmacologists to have a role in mood maintenance. Medicines that block endorphin effect (naloxone) do not make people more depressed. Medicines that mimic endorphins (opiates) do not make depression better, despite the brief high non-depressives optain.
    Second, good studies generally do not support any significant benefit of exercise in combatting depression. The improvement rate is generally equal to the placebo rate (at least 30%) and it's important to note in depression studies that there is a significant spontaneous improvement rate. The dropout rate in exercise studies is enormous, even before getting started, because only the mildly depressed tend to be willing to follow the regimen; they are the most likely to spontaneously improve regardless of interventions in any event. Also, exercise usually improves sleep and appetite, which are two of the items rated on depression scales, so a depression rating scale score can improve without an actual improvement in mood.
     
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  8. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    Addendum

    The OPs headline about whether exercise improves mood is a bit misleading. The study looked at clinical depression. Exercise may improve the way ordinary people on this board feel about themselves on a given day, but one cannot extrapolate that to clinical depression. (Note - The journal that published this study, The Archives of General Psychiatry, is generally considered to be the most rigorous and methodologically exacting psychiatry journal in the US.)
     
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  9. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

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    Mood and Clinical Depression... not the same

    Great review of the study ollinger,

    It seems that we are always reading that "working-out" improves mood and taking certain supplements helps maintain healthy "whatever". We really need to listen and read very carefully these days. There is a major difference in using a supplement to help you remain healthy and taking a med to control a medical condition. Being in a bad Mood and Clinical Depression are not even close. I have to say that a good workout improves my mood. Why it does is unclear to me. The bottom line is that when you feel healthy you would tend to be in a good mood. As ollinger stated, exercise usually improves sleep and appetite and in turn would improve anyones mood. As far as Clinical Depression goes, folks in that group would not tend to be getting 5-6 good workouts per/week. These folks in many cases find it hard to just get though the day.

    Chess...the report is a nice find and very interesting.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2008
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  10. Babb

    Babb Professional

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    When I feel bad, I haven't gotten any exercise that day.
     
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  11. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    The conclusions appear to refer to "the general population", yet they also studied identical twins with depression as I read this. So, exercise didn't help the mood of ANYONE. ;)

    The title here is an exact replica of the story title with a question mark appended. I can't take 'credit' for it.

    -Robert
     
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  12. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, Steve!

    -Robert
     
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