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  • Exercise may boost mood for some chronically ill

    Reprinted with permission from Reuters
    By Frederik Joelving

    (Reuters Health) - Working out regularly may brighten the mood of people with chronic health problems like cancer, heart disease and back pain, according to the first sweeping look at previous research.

    But it’s no miracle cure: On average, six people would need to hit the gym or go for a jog for one person to see a mood improvement.

    “It’s a nice piece of evidence and I’m pleased because I like the concept,” said Dr. Alan J. Gelenberg, who chairs the department of psychiatry at Penn State University in Hershey.

    Gelenberg, who wasn’t involved in the new work, said the findings jibe with guidelines from the American Psychiatric Association, which recommends regular exercise against the blues.

    “There is some evidence for its use to prevent depression, and there actually is evidence for exercise as a treatment in itself,” he told Reuters Health.

    With the new study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers wanted to weigh the evidence that training can also help chronically ill people who don’t have a diagnosis of depression, but nonetheless may feel down.

    That’s important because depressive symptoms could make people less likely to take their meds, could increase their use of health services and decrease their quality of life, said Matthew Herring of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

    Click here to read the full article on Reuters website »