Exercise Prevents Depression

A study of 34,000 healthy adults followed for 11 years shows that exercise prevents depression. The authors of the study found that the dose of exercise needed to optimally prevent depression was surprisingly low. Just 15 – 20 minutes of aerobic exercise per day was effective. The study is the largest prospective study to date to show the benefits of …

Strength, Rock Climbing and Recovery – Gina

Strength, Rock Climbing and Recovery I recently had a conversation with a client who started rock climbing. As a rock climber myself, I get very excited to see people taking up the sport. Over the years I have witnessed how rock climbing can be an important part of someone’s recovery, whether healing from an addiction, depression, anxiety, or a break …

Exercise for Health

Exercise is essential to healthy life. It offers multiple rewards. It improves mood, lowers blood pressure, and improves blood cholesterol levels. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancers. Regular physical activity helps develop and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints. It relieves arthritis pain and keeps you younger than your years. If that weren’t enough, it …

Children at Risk for Depression

James Hudziak, and other researchers, presented information suggesting a strategy for improving brain health, and reducing anxiety and depression in children at risk for these conditions at the 2015 meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. We have previously mentioned in this blog another excellent resource for information on bipolar, Bipolar Network News, and this information is summarized …

TV Watching Leads to Impaired Cognition

How can we build up foundational, long-lasting healthy habits while young? We know it’s important—a perennial question, if not one we face day-to-day. By building those habits early on, we can set ourselves up for healthier living long-term, and place our children on a better track for a healthier, more positive adolescence and early adulthood. In fact, the habits we …

Exercise Dose

What is the right dose of exercise, how much before you hurt yourself, or stop seeing more benefits? You could be the AM riser, out jogging predawn in neon sneakers and sweatband, having just donned luminescent jacket or slicker. Maybe you’re the lunch hour weight lifter. Or perhaps you take the evening shift, the post-work workout, at the hour when …

Exercise Keeps Us Young

A recent New York Times article entitled “How Exercise Keeps Us Young” prompted me to write this post. Those of us who are thinking about getting older may find the whole topic discouraging. There seem to be very few cultural models of successful aging (other than not doing it). The New York Times article summarizes a study that appeared in …

Exercise and Stress – How Exercise Prevents Depression

Exercise seems to reduce stress. But how does this work? And what about exercise effects on depression? An article in the New York Times summarizes a recent publication in the journal Cell which may explain how exercise prevents depression. A wealth of research shows that regular exercise reduces the risk of depression. A very large study in Britain, for example, suggested that …

Bipolar Disorders and Exercise: Working Out Can Tone Up Your Neurotransmitters – Arnrow

Neurotransmitters are the chemicals that your brain cells (neurons) use to transmit information, without them we cannot think or act. It is no wonder that too much or too little of any one particular neurotransmitter can have substantial effects on how our body and brain functions. For example, people with mood disorders tend to have low levels of the four major …

Let There Be Light

Those who experience depression regularly at certain times of the year (in San Francisco, a winter depression usually begins in late October or early November and, depending on where you live, there may be a summer depression linked to heavy fog in July and August) should definitely know about the importance of light exposure in treating depression. In fact, regular exposure …

Exercise or Inactivity Changes Your Brain’s Structure and Its Resilience to Stress

This past year has been a remarkable year in terms of new studies examining the effects of exercise on your brain. Everyone knows, of course, that exercise is good for you. But these studies together provide compelling evidence that exercise (and inactivity) profoundly change the structure and function of your brain. One set of studies has shown that exercise profoundly …

Depression and Inflammation

Recently there has been increasing interest in the relationship between depression and chronic overactivity of the body’s biological defense system – inflammation. When we have an infection, or an injury, or almost any other kind of illness, the body activates a series of processes designed to respond to the threat. Unfortunately, the inflammation system, especially if it is turned on …

Runner’s High

A great way to gain both physical and mental strength is to make running a part of your workout. A lifestyle that includes running promotes well being and reaps both cognitive and mental benefits. When running, the body releases endogenous opioids, like endorphins, that relieve stress. The feeling some people call a runner’s high is due to the activation of …