Monday, January 23, 2006

Walk away from depression

We know that depression and heart disease are intricately linked.

A study conducted in Baltimore found that of individuals who were free of heart disease, those who had a history of depression were four times more likely than those who did not to suffer a heart attack in the next 14 years.

Now, a new study indicates that just 30 minutes of brisk walking can immediately boost the mood of depressed patients, giving them the same quick pick-me-up they may be seeking from cigarettes, caffeine or binge eating.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that people suffering from depression who walked on a treadmill for 30 minutes reported feeling more vigorous and had a greater sense of psychological well-being for up to an hour after completing the workout.

Those patients and another group that sat quietly for 30 minutes both reported reductions in negative feelings such as tension, depression, anger and fatigue. But only the group that exercised said they felt good after the session.

"People shouldn't feel like the only thing they can do is take their medicine and wait till they feel better. This kind of shows there are things you can do to help yourself in the short term."

You've probably seen exercisers using those elliptical machines with the pedal arms. The good workout you get on these devices can be duplicated in the great outdoors with the use of ski poles.

So, how about trying some Nordic walking? Learn how to do it by watching this video. Click on the January 20, 2006 entry.

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