A team of scientists from the University of Iowa (USA) led by kinesiologist Jacob Meyer, became interested in how intense exercise, namely one session a day, affected the primary symptoms of depression. They analyzed the test results of 30 volunteers before, during and after moderately intense 30-minute cycling, as well as those who simply rested quietly. The tests included a questionnaire to evaluate current mood and feelings, several cognitive tests, and a scale to measure anhedonia (broad spectrum of hedonic dysfunction that includes decreased motivation or ability to experience pleasure).
As it turned out, the participants usually experienced a mood improvement in the middle of training, it lasted for at least 75 minutes after the workout was over. The feeling of anhedonia also decreased, although it began to return after 75 minutes.
The scientists conclude that the fact of immediate mood improvement and overall pleasure that after physical activity becomes an additional reason to motivate people with depression to play more sports. The researchers advise to plan some activities that require psychological or cognitive concentration in the near future after training.
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