Exercise and Depression

by | Dec 31, 2017 |

Exercise is not only useful for losing a few calories or for gaining a few pounds of muscle, it does much more than that. For people diagnosed with depression, regular exercise can boot the mood and help reduce the symptoms. Exercising decreases stress hormones such as cortisol and produces endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.

Exercise stimulates the release of many of the brain chemicals, such as adrenalin, serotonin, and dopamine. Together, these chemicals that exist naturally in the body help to elevate mood and result in a feeling of completion and relaxation. The old adage of exercising is good for you, do it every day is a great one. The type of exercise you choose doesn’t need to be elaborate. You can do stretches and strengthening with workout balls and stretch bands at home, or lift small hand weights.

Most studies showed that exercise can be a very helpful treatment for depression. Exercise should therefore be considered as an important lifestyle change that is used in addition to other treatments for depression. These are some the best exercises to help with depression


a mind-body practice  is considered one of many types of complementary and integrative health approaches. Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines that may help you achieve peacefulness of body and mind. And it is considered to be very beneficial for depression in adults.

Yoga has many styles, forms and intensities. Hatha yoga, in particular, may be a good choice for stress management. Hatha is one of the most common styles of yoga, and beginners may like its slower pace and easier movements. But most people can benefit from any style of yoga — it’s all about your personal preferences.

The core components of hatha yoga and most general yoga classes are:

  • Poses. Yoga poses, also called postures, are a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility. Poses range from lying on the floor while completely relaxed to difficult postures that may have you stretching your physical limits.
  • Breathing. Controlling your breathing is an important part of yoga. Yoga teaches that controlling your breathing can help you control your body and quiet your mind.
  • Meditation or relaxation. In yoga, you may incorporate meditation or relaxation. Meditation may help you learn to be more mindful and aware of the present moment without judgment.

The potential health benefits of yoga include:

  • Stress reduction. A number of studies have shown that yoga may help reduce stress and anxiety. It can also enhance your mood and overall sense of well-being.
  • Improved fitness. Practicing yoga may lead to improved balance, flexibility, range of motion and strength.
  • Management of chronic conditions. Yoga can help reduce risk factors for chronic diseases, such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Yoga might also help alleviate chronic conditions, such as depression, pain, anxiety and insomnia.


There is no other exercise that stimulates the release of endorphins like running does, this feels good hormone can really pick up a the mood and can make you feel a lot better physically by helping to quell pain. Running also slows your aging process, give you stress relief and send your immune system into overdrive. When you run, a flood of endorphins are released. Scientists aren’t quite sure what triggers this release, but they do know that prolonged exercise, along with things like orgasms and chocolate, will do the trick.

So Join a gym or get involved in a sport. Take up skiing, snowboarding, basketball, ice skating. Join in a beach volleyball game or set up an area for table tennis. The point is to do some form of vigorous exercise every day. Start slow, about 15-20 minutes, and work up to a full hour each time you exercise. Aim for at least 4-5 days a week if you can’t do it every day. Be consistent, and give it all your attention. Don’t strain yourself to the point of pain, however. A nice burn is a good thing. It lets you know you’re giving yourself a good workout and getting results. You’ll feel a mild fatigue that will dissipate after a few minutes of stopping, but the feeling of relaxation will last a lot longer.