Fitness benefits more than physical

It’s not like we needed another reason, but for anyone who still thinks that being a couch potato is a cool thing to be, think again.

It’s not like we needed another reason, but for anyone who still thinks that being a couch potato is a cool thing to be, think again.

New research suggests that physical fitness can benefit you mentally as well as physically.

To be fair, this is not the first time fitness has been linked to mental as well as physical well-being.

Endorphins and endocannabinoids, the ‘feel good’ chemicals released by the body in times of physical exertion, have also been found to have beneficial effects on the mind.

Most recently though, a study has produced findings that suggest working out could stave off depression.

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden conducted a study using mice where they found that changes in skeletal muscles as a result of exercise helped to rid the body of stress-inducing amino acid known as kynurenine that has been linked to depression.

What researchers thought they would find was that such muscle changes would have beneficial effects on the brain, perhaps something akin to forming a ‘shield’ of sorts that would fend off harmful chemicals. Instead what they discovered was kind of the opposite – that people with fit muscles produce enzymes that actively evacuate such detrimental beings.

This is incredible research for a number of reasons.

At a time when both obesity and depression are growing major problems in our society, these findings could not be more timely.

Society is becoming more and more sedentary as time goes on. Many people have jobs that require them to sit at desks working on computers for long portions of the day.

Families spend more of their free time watching television and playing video games (although there are some good things to be said about video games in this day and age as well and they are certainly being put to clever new uses).

At the same time, depression and mental illness in general is a growing concern. Last month, Lacombians gathered at the Lacombe Memorial Centre for the Walk for Wellness and Suicide prevention to promote awareness about mental wellness and suicide.

It has been said before that many people turn to suicide when suffering from depression or other mental health issues because there is not enough awareness about the issues or treatments readily available.

Now, it is possible that a simple treatment which already exists could be readily available to everyone. As it happens, that treatment also fights obesity. It seems to be a mutually beneficial correlation.

As always further research is needed. Brains and muscles of mice are vastly different from brains and muscles of humans. Still, the possibilities are promising.

 

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Alberta male team takes silver in Winter Games relay speed skating

Alberta was close behind Quebec in the team relay speed skating finals

Lacombe Police Service respond to car theft at Greenway Inn

Suspect is still outstanding and the investigation is ongoing

Lacombe Police Service responds to attempted car theft

Two suspects departed scene in a silver 2000 Dodge Caravan

Alberta was crowned champions in Wheelchair Basketball at Canada Winter Games

Ontario won silver while Quebec took home the bronze medal

Lacombe welcomes ‘Napalm Girl’ to discuss journey from hatred to forgiveness

Latest Herr Lecture to feature Kim Phuc Phan Thi at LMC

WATCH: Canada Games Torch Relay lights spark in Lacombe

100s brave blistering cold to support local torchbearers

WATCH: Pet therapy brings calmness to Winter Games athletes

Canada Winter Games in Red Deer continue on until March 2nd

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Child advocacy centre raising funds through Dream Home Lottery

The child advocacy centre in Red Deer uses its resources to help kids all over Central Alberta

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

B.C. woman shares story of abuse with church officials ahead of Vatican summit

Leona Huggins was the only Canadian in the gathering ahead of a historic summit at the Vatican

Sylvan Lake’s Megan Cressey misses Freestyle Skiing Big Air podium

Alberta’s Jake Sandstorm captured silver in the men Freestyle Skiing Big Air contest

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Most Read