Depression – regular exercise

The last thing anyone wants to do when they’re depressed is exercise, but studies have shown that exercise if taken regularly, can be as effective at increasing energy levels, reducing feelings of tiredness and taking antidepressants.

Evidence suggests that physical activity, increases the amount of endorphins that can have a positive effect on our mood, reduce stress, improve sleep, improve moods, reduce anxiety, improve concentration and may enhance our view of ourselves.

Regular exercise can also improve the way we look and boost self-esteem.  Exercise can also improve focus, so providing us with new goals and a sense of purpose. Participating and getting involved in sport, will not only help us become more active, but will also allow us to meet new people.

Between 20 and 60 minutes of daily exercise can help improve our wellbeing, but shorter bouts of exercise is still beneficial in significantly improving mood. People living with Depression are recommended to participate in a more structured and supervised exercise programme of up to three sessions per week, for between 10 and 12 weeks. Referral is by GP.

Aerobic exercises such as a brisk walk, cycling, jogging and swimming are all good exercises for helping treat Depression. Exercises such as weight lifting although not necessarily a mood enhancing sport, may still be useful for helping to build a better self-image.


5 Jul, 2010

6 thoughts on “Depression – regular exercise

  1. I agree with you, but in our part of Canada right now we are having a heat wave with temperatures going beyond 30 degrees. It is supposed to be like this until Friday. So unless you can find a exercise to do in air conditioning I would advise against it. Exercising in extreme heat and humidity is dangerous for the heart.

    1. There will obviously always be circumstances where one cannot exercise as you have pointed out, but the principles of exercise will always apply, they will never change. Just do what you can, when you can.

      As always Randy, thanks for your support.

  2. You are right Ilana. Exercise is great for depression and a multitude of other ailments. Finding out which one is right for you and your particular cicumstances is key. I battle with CFS/FMS and type 1 diabetes so I may feel like I need to exercise sometimes although I have absolutely no energy to do it and other times I’ll walk and of course walking the dog, (or she walks me sometimes, LOL).

    With CFS its recommended you exercise but not the extra strenuous type, cause it can defeat the purpose and make you worse.. and I just read where extreme sports can be bad, I’d have to read it again to get the implications of the text. Anyway exercise is great or whatever ails you, just find what fits and do it. Great post. Lisa

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