Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Best Form of Exercise to Improve Your Mood?

The Best Form of Exercise to Improve Your Mood?

Exercise is a well-known natural mood booster. You’ve heard of a “runner’s high”? This refers to the euphoric feeling many people get after a challenging run … and research has confirmed that, indeed, endorphins -- your brain’s feel-good, pain-relieving chemicals -- are produced during running.

What’s more, those endorphins attach to areas of your brain associated with emotions, including the intense, positive emotions experienced during love affairs. So the runner’s high is not just a myth … it’s a very real mood boost that runners and other active exercisers get to experience.

But as intense as a runner’s high can be, it may pale in comparison to the mood boost offered by another type of exercise … yoga.

Yoga May Boost Your Mood Better Than Any Other Type of Exercise

A new study has revealed that yoga increases the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in your brain. GABA helps to regulate nerve activity and lower levels are linked to mood and anxiety disorders. Drugs that increase GABA activity are used to treat anxiety and improve mood … and it appears yoga may help to increase GABA activity, offering potential antidepressant benefits, naturally.

In fact, yoga was found to boost mood better than walking and other forms of exercise,

"This is important work that establishes some objective bases for the effects that highly trained practitioners of yoga therapy throughout the world see on a daily basis …,” Kim A. Jobst, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, told Science Daily.

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