Walking to Improve Mood

Diabetics may feel happier and more alert after brisk walking

(RxWiki News) A brisk, 20 minute walk helped people with type 2 diabetes to feel happier and more alert.

A recent study asked people with type 2 diabetes to take a 20 minute walk and measured their mood and feelings of alertness.

People reported feeling more alert and happier for at least 20 minutes after exercise.

"Consult your physician before starting an exercise program"

The study, led by Martin Kopp, PhD, of the University of Innsbruck in Austria, asked participants with type 2 diabetes to take a brisk walk for 20 minutes. They measured the feelings of arousal or alertness and feelings of pleasure before, during, and after the walk. 

Compared to participants who sat quietly reading for 20 minutes, diabetics that exercised for 20 minutes had increased feelings of pleasure and alertness.

The increased happiness or pleasure lasted for at least 20 minutes after exercise.  The feelings of alertness lasted for at least two and a half hours after exercise.  The authors concluded that the benefits of even short bouts of exercise on mood should be considered when people with type 2 diabetes are making an exercise plan with their doctor.

The study was a small group of people, so it is unclear if these effects are true for everyone. The study was published in the January issue of Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice.

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Review Date: 
April 7, 2012