New insights into how exercise can lift mood in depression

August 18, 2019 Science Health Wellness

There is growing evidence that exercise can help to treat symptoms of depression and lift mood, although the reasons have been unclear. Now, a new study finds that the body’s endocannabinoid system may play a role.

The researchers propose that a better appreciation of the relationship between exercise, mood, and the endocannabinoid system could result in better treatments for depression.

The study investigated changes in mood and endocannabinoid levels in people with major depression who exercised at different intensities on a stationary bike.

The investigators found a significant increase in endocannabinoid levels and improvement in mood after a session of prescribed exercise of moderate intensity.

The endocannabinoid system is a cell signaling system comprising the body’s own cannabinoids, or endocannabinoids, and receptors. It extends throughout the body and influences the function of the immune, cardiovascular, and nervous systems.

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