Exercise is good for the body and for the mind. According to a new study, that feel-good effect obtained from exercise lasts longer than previously assumed.
"Moderate intensity aerobic exercise improves mood immediately and those improvements can last up to 12 hours," concluded study lead researcher Dr. Jeremy Sibold, assistant professor of rehabilitation and movement science at the University of Vermont, Burlington.
Experts believe that exercise's mood-boosting effects are partly due to a rise in levels of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, such as endorphins, in the brain. While many have known for awhile that exercise boosts your spirits, it wasn't previously known how long that feel-good effect lasts.
The findings point yet again to exercise as a cheap, easily accessible tool against blue moods and even depression, Sibold said. "I think that's really important for the general public to know -- depression is so widespread."
2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. Individuals should discuss an exercise program with their physicians.