Friday, November 10, 2006

Regular Exercise Increases Our Energy

I love this new finding by University of Georgia researchers, Patrick O'Connor, co-director of the UGA exercise psychology laboratory and a kinesiology professor, and Tim Tuetz, a recent doctoral program graduate. Their findings were published in the November issue of Psychological Bulletin. They found that "sedentary people who completed a regular exercise program reported improved fatigue compared to groups that did not exercise." Further, their analysis found that "every group studied--from healthy adults to cancer patients to those with chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease--benefited from exercise.

Although it may seem odd that using energy by exercising actually gives us more energy, we also know from many previous animal studies that exercise promotes higher levels of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, in the animals' brains. Once again, the evidence is clear: regular, consistent exercise is just what we're supposed to do.

Personally, I have known for a long time that if I'm really fatigued and burned out, a fast-paced swim or a challenging yoga class or a brisk walk can re-energize me like nothing else. And the more regular exercise I get, the more my body--and yes, my mind, too--cry out for it.

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