Exercise and Depression Relief - How It Benefits

What is the link between exercise and depression relief?

Physical exercise or any other form of physical activity has always been recommended for people suffering from various physiological conditions like high blood pressure, cardiovascular conditions, high cholesterol problems, etc. Therefore, in general, physical exercise is considered important from a health and fitness point of view.

Similarly, from a psychological point of view, it is equally important to engage the mind and body so that there is no inertia or static built up at any level. It is important to include a healthy dose of dynamic energy movement in the body because, ultimately, a healthy body will influence the mind in a positive manner and bring about a healthy balance which is essential for people to remain clam and peaceful.

Research and scientific studies clearly indicate that a half-hour walk in the morning, thrice every week, can make a considerable difference to depressive moods in people; indeed, the benefits of exercise and depression relief have been well proven.

One does not have to start an intense workout session right at the beginning, because this might end up creating more harm than good. Start slow, and work your way up in terms of frequency, duration and intensity.


It is important to engage in some form of physical exercise or the other, partly because exercise is found to increase the activity and levels of some extremely important neurotransmitters in the brain. These include serotonin, which helps elevate the mood of a person.


In addition, exercise also helps release the feel-good chemical substances in the bloodstream. These endorphins help improve symptoms of stress, helplessness, anxiety, self-hate, etc, and bring out calm within the person. This exercise and depression connection is extremely important for someone going through a depressed phase.

Stress Reduction

Exercise is also found to decrease the amount of stress hormones in the human body. The stress hormone cortisol, if not within limits, can further contribute to tension and depression. Therefore, there are several reasons why people should invest in a healthy exercise program and learn to unwind and enjoy physical activity.

Better Sleep

Another problem that exercise helps deal effectively with, in people suffering from depression, is the issue of sleep. People going through depression often suffer from insomnia and are not able to get enough sleep. However, a vigorous exercise regime will help decrease the symptoms of insomnia and induce deep sleep in people suffering from depression - this is another positive link between exercise and depression.

Improves Endurance and Builds Strength and Stamina

In order to effectively overcome any form of psychological or physiological problems, it is very important to develop endurance and stamina. And exercise does precisely that, and daily workouts can make one's body fitter and stronger.


Besides calming the mind, reducing cholesterol levels, decreasing cortisol levels, and releasing endorphins into the blood stream, exercise will ensure that a person’s self confidence is restored. As exercise improves the way a person looks and feels, it will only improve the self confidence in him or her. This is an indirect beneficial link between exercise and depression healing.

Healthy Distraction

Another way in which exercise benefits depressed persons is that it is a great form of distracting a person’s thoughts and feelings. It helps keep the mind occupied and often helps in shifting the focus from negative and pessimistic thoughts to positive and optimistic ones.


How do you benefit from the exercise and depression connection? Ultimately, exercise can be of various forms, like aerobics, weight training, cardiovascular work outs that involve running on the treadmill, etc. But the purpose is the same, which is to improve fitness and wellbeing both at a physical and mental level.

Therefore, one must start off with walking or jogging in the nearby park and finally move on to high-intensity workout sessions, where the body is able to endure physical training for a minimum of 45 minutes to an hour. This will help detoxify the body, flushing out various physiological and psychological toxins.

Indeed, there is research which suggests that exercise is even more effective than antidepressants at alleviating depression. So, get moving now!

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