Let's not forget the basics..

March 13, 2015

Okay, so we know that Hypnosis can really be of benefit in managing stress and also in weight loss.  But let's not forget that good old exercise has a lot to offer as well.


On top of the many reasons to hit the gym, working out may also improve the ability to persevere through hard times. In a series of recent experiments, neuroscientists at the University of Georgia have begun to unravel the link between long-term stress resilience and exercise.

The study, published in the February edition of the journal Neuropharmacology, reveals that a neuropeptide called galanin is a necessary piece of the puzzle. Researchers demonstrated, in an animal model, that galanin protects neurons from degeneration caused by stress. When rats exercised, and galanin was blocked, the rats were as anxious as if they hadn't exercised at all. Researchers also showed that galanin reverses the negative effects of stress among sedentary rats. The anatomical evidence suggests that galanin contributes to stress resilience by preserving synaptic plasticity, or the way neural connections are strengthened or weakened over time.

"We were able to show that stress, just a single exposure to stress, caused a decrease in synapse formation," said Philip Holmes, the study's principal investigator and a professor of psychology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Holmes also chairs the Neuroscience Program of the Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute. "The hypothesis was that maybe what galanin is doing, and what exercise is doing, is maintaining neuroplasticity in the prefrontal cortex."


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