Train Hard, Be Happy
University of Florida Health researchers found that specific genetic markers that predispose their owners to symptoms of depression are also predictors of those who may get the most relief from exercise. These results came to light after scientists dug deeply into the data of a study that showed that exercise did not affect the mood of a whole group. Once researchers began to cross-match the subjects who felt an increase in their ability to feel pleasure with those who carried certain genes, a pattern began to appear. Scientists speculated the mechanism behind this relationship has to do with the fact that physical activity increases the levels of neurotransmitters and endorphins, and suspect that exercise most likely increases the expression of the brain-derived neurotrophic gene (known as BDNF) a serotonin transporter. It should be noted that this study was done with subjects whose symptoms were not severe enough to be diagnosed with clinical depression.