Exercise May Help Fight Depression in Older Adults
As muscles become stronger through regular exercise, they release transcription factors that can improve your mood and help to make you feel good. A regular exercise program helps your body to process tryptophan, a mood-enhancing chemical closely related to serotonin.
Depressed people often have low blood levels of serotonin, and exercise may increase activity of the enzyme KAT from exercising muscles that converts tryptophan to serotonin to help make you feel good.
In the study from McMaster University, a group of healthy men who were 65 or older and not depressed did 12 weeks of leg and shoulder presses and high-intensity stationary bicycle interval training. Their enzyme KAT levels increased significantly (American Journal of Physiology–Cell Physiology, Jan 31, 2019).
An earlier study showed that exercise also causes muscles to release large amounts of cathepsin B that is associated with improved memory (Cell Metab, Aug 9, 2016;24(2):332-40).
Those who had the highest improvement in fitness also had the highest blood levels of cathepsin B and the greatest improvement in memory test scores.
Recommendations If you exercise regularly, these three studies give you more reasons to be proud.
Your exercise program can help you to prolong your life, prevent certain diseases and protect yourself from dementia and depression.
If you have yet to get into the routine of becoming a regular exerciser, and need any help - I'm here for you.
Your Health Coach, Christine!