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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Fit Is It Challenge - Week 3

Email Me The Challenge

We just finished Week 3 of the Fit Is IT Challenge - 180 minutes of exercise a week - -that's the challenge, 30 minutes a day 6 days a week? How did you do? It's been a real quiet week, I haven't heard from many of you. Drop me an email, let me know how you are doing!

I fell 20-minutes short of my personal challenge for 240 minutes of exercise during the week. Even falling short I feel healthy and well from moving my body. I logged 140 minutes cardio, 45 minutes strength training and 35 minutes flexibility training.

New research published today confirms what fitness enthusiasts have long believed: brisk exercise is an effective pick-me-up in the face of depression. As reported by the Associated Press:

Exercise gets you off depression's treadmill
AUSTIN, Texas: Thirty minutes of brisk walking can immediately boost the mood of depressed patients, giving them the same quick pick-me-up they may seek from cigarettes, caffeine or binge eating, a small study found.

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 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, according to the study published in the December issue of the journal, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Lead researcher John Bartholomew said the study reinforced past research that had found consistent exercise, along with medication and counseling, can help people overcome depression.

However, it is among the first studies to show that exercise can have a positive effect right away.

"It's not something you have to do for 10 weeks and it's not something you have to do at a high intensity," said Mr. Bartholomew, an associate professor of kinesiology and health education. "You should derive a benefit very early on in the process, and hopefully that is the kind of thing that will motivate them to continue to engage in the behavior."

The study involved 40 people between the ages of 18 and 55. All were recently diagnosed with major depressive disorder, were not taking anti-depressants and did not regularly exercise.

Twenty patients were assigned to exercise for 30 minutes, while the others sat quietly for the same amount of time.

For mildly to moderately depressed patients, exercise may lessen feelings of helplessness and isolation, said Erik Nelson, an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

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