Thursday, November 8, 2012

Exercise and Depression

Last night, I realized I had been in a bad mood for about a week.  Busy at work, some sick kids at home, blah, blah, blah.  You've been there too.  I couldn't put my finger on a specific reason, I just felt like kicking someone.  Then my wife said "You were snoring last night".  Don't worry, I didn't kick her.  But it made me realize my problem.  When I don't exercise (also, when you don't exercise) my brain starts to shut down.  We are made to MOVE!  This is documented in medical literature, as well as thousands of running and exercise books, blogs, movies, fliers, and pamphlets.  My last run was on October 27, when I was still in Phoenix!  I had gotten zero exercise since that time.  I have been trying to catch up on work stuff, including hiring a new staff member and had generally just been lazy.  Problem noted.  Now to solve it.

After we got the boys in bed last night I went out to run my 3 mile loop.  I felt so good after the first half mile that I ended up going 5 miles.  I could have kept going, but it was getting late and I knew my wife would be heading to bed soon so I went home.  I feel better today than I have in two weeks.

I just did a quick search on PubMed - the depository for all things related to human research.  Searching for "exercise and depression" yielded 9500+ hits.  Searching "exercise improves depression" still hit 273 times.

What does it all mean?  If you feel bad, get off your ass.  It is as simple as that.  Even just going for a walk around the block will improve your mood a great deal.

Run on, Runners!