Friday, 24 February 2012

The effect of exercise on depression

Stress triggers an increase in cortisone, a hormone that keeps the body ready to fight or flight. The persistence of stress and cortisone reduces the level of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and might cause the reduction of hippocampus.
An atrophy of hippocampus  - amongst others, in turn, is related to chronic depression. Studies identify a link between the low level of BDNF and depression.

Exercise is generating an increase in BDNF, and consequently has a positive influence over depression.

More, a reduced level of BDNF is associated with an increased appetite, which might lead to obesity.

Today's formula:

exercise => increase in BDNF => 1. less depressive episodes
                                                        2. reduces appetite => less risk for obesity


2. an interesting point of view:

Health Videos - Antidepressants Are Not Effective for Treating Depression

Exercise and your brain

We usually associate exercise with shape, weight, fat...but we forget to relate it to our brain health.

Our brain it evolved in response to us being always on the move. 
Humans, as any other species on Earth, are surviving by exchanging energy with the environment; and this is done by moving. One needs to move to find food (well, even if it means to go to supermarket lately instead of hunting); one needs to move and protect against predators, enemies or elements of nature (even if in Edinburgh this means mainly rain and strong wind); one needs to move to have sex and pass the genes - the main purpose of life. So there is no wonder that brain and movement (let's call it exercise) are so closely related.

The scientist found that neurons do have a support cells - astrocytes - that store glycogen, making it available when the level of glucose in bloostream gets low.
These glycogen stores act as 'insurance', and help in preserving the brain cells health.

Studies made on rats showed that after exercise - while the mini-glycogen stores in brain deplete - the food eaten goes 'straight' to the head, replenishing the store and even supercompensating, making these stores greater than before, with up to 60% in frontal cortex and hyppocampus. These are the regions of the brain responsible for thinking and memory, and these increased stores of glycogen help in sustaining better these functions. 
The levels of the stores dropped to normal after 24hrs. And I think this is a good reason to keep you moving the next day :-).


Why to get more active

1. Must keep moving! A study results indicate that you should stand up and stretch every hour.

Why? Not moving stops the production of an enzyme called lipase. This enzyme inhibits the fat-production. 

Today's formula looks like this:

1hours no move => no lipase => fat free to build up

So if you move after every hour, you produce lipase and help preventing the fat build up...sounds good?

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Cool down

We need to do a 5 minutes cool down after each power walking session, so we make sure that the blood is circulated and the waste products will be faster eliminated. This way you will recover quicker, and have a good feeling of  'job done' at the end.
 Repeat a few time 30 seconds of slow jogging followed by walking other 30 seconds...and then reduce the intensity and do a calm walk for a few minutes.

(see more on,7120,s6-238-520--8532-0,00.html)

Let me know your questions :-)