New research from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden was published in the journal Cell last month that demonstrates how exercise can help prevent stress-induced depression.
It's long been known that exercise releases dopamine and endorphins—naturally occurring neurotransmitters which can have an anti-depressant effect on the brain. Exercise can elevate your mood when you are down.
This new research shows how a regular exercise program provides a barrier that prevents stress from deteriorating your mood. It was shown that the protein PGC-1a1 (pronounced PGC-1alpha1) increases in skeletal muscle with exercise. This protein helps purge the blood of KAT, a substance formed during stress that is harmful to the brain.
If you have a tendency toward depression, this research suggests that exercising while your mood is good may help prevent what might have been your next depression.
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