Study: Running with friends is better

March 14, 2006

Princeton University scientists say they've determined exercising in groups, rather than alone, produces better results and is better for the brain.

Many people struggle to maintain a regular exercise schedule on their own, but they do better when they exercise with friends. Now Elizabeth Gould and colleagues have studied the effects of running on the generation of new neurons -- neurogenesis -- in the brains of adult rats housed in groups and in isolation.

The authors report that running increased neurogenesis only when rats were housed in groups and, in rats that run in social isolation, neurogenesis is suppressed.

The scientists said running caused similar elevations of the stress hormone corticosterone in isolated or group-housed rats, but only animals that ran alone were vulnerable to the negative influence of corticosterone on neurogenesis.

Moreover, individually housed runners showed higher levels of corticosterone in response to additional stress when compared with group-housed runners, the researchers said. Preventing the elevation in corticosterone levels in individually housed runners stimulated neurogenesis.

The results, appearing in the current issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience, suggest that without social interaction, a normally beneficial experience can have negative effects on the brain.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Stress hormone linked to short-term memory loss as we age

Related Stories

The lifetime effects of stress

March 30, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Professor Stafford Lightman and his team in the Laboratories for Integrative Neuroscience and Endocrinology are interested in how stress impacts upon human health throughout the lifespan - just how does it ...

New study explains how stress can boost immune system

June 21, 2012

A study spearheaded by a Stanford University School of Medicine scientist has tracked the trajectories of key immune cells in response to short-term stress and traced, in great detail, how hormones triggered by such stress ...

Recommended for you

Paleontologists report world's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex

March 22, 2019

University of Alberta paleontologists have just reported the world's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex and the largest dinosaur skeleton ever found in Canada. The 13-metre-long T. rex, nicknamed "Scotty," lived in prehistoric Saskatchewan ...

NASA instruments image fireball over Bering Sea

March 22, 2019

On Dec. 18, 2018, a large "fireball—the term used for exceptionally bright meteors that are visible over a wide area—exploded about 16 miles (26 kilometers) above the Bering Sea. The explosion unleashed an estimated 173 ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.