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It's no news that exercise has been shown to alleviate depression and improve well-being over the long term

It's no news that exercise has been shown to alleviate depression and improve well-being over the long term. With these positive effects in mind, researchers of a recent study published in the December 2005 issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise set out to determine if a single bout of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise would have a positive effect on individuals suffering from major depressive disorder.

Participants were asked to walk on a treadmill for 30 minutes or to rest quietly for the same amount of time. Both groups were tested for several variables such as sense of well-being, anger, fatigue, and confusion, five minutes before and five, 30, and 60 minutes after their treadmill walk or quiet rest. The participants of the physically active group reported improvement in their sense of well-being following the testing period, a benefit not reported by the rest-only group, suggesting that the mood-enhancing benefits of exercise may be present in the short-term after only one 30-minute workout. So there is some substance to experts' advice when they say "Feeling down? Go for a walk!"

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