According to the American researchers, group jogging or jogging with a friend will be more beneficial to health than solo jogging. //
Researchers led by Professor Elizabeth Gould at Harvard University compared the costs and benefits of solo jogging with those for exercise in a group and found that contrary to accepted wisdom, jogging was not always good for those jogging alone, reported online edition of Daily Mail.
The researchers carried out series of experiments, monitoring two groups of rats that were given exercise wheels. The rodents in the first group exercised by themselves. Those in the second group, however, jogged on the wheel in the company of other rats.
After 12 days, the researchers ran tests to estimate the number of new brain cells in each rat. They found that those exercising in company had more than twice as many new brain cells as those who jogged alone.
Other tests showed that the solo joggers also had undergone less neurogenesis - generation of new brain cells - than rats that had done no exercise.
"When experienced in a group setting, running stimulates neurogenesis," writing in the journal Nature, Professor Gould said.
"However, when running occurs in social isolation, these positive effects are suppressed."
The researchers also looked at how the animals reacted when placed in a stressful situation, such as being dipped in icy water. They found that the rats, which exercised alone, handled the pressure less well, producing higher levels of the corticosterone, a stress hormone.
"Our results are evidence that social interactions can buffer the body and brain from stressful experiences," she added.
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