Benefits Of Exercise For Depression

Written by Dr. Stefanenko Irina Borisovna on Tue, 01 August 2023


Daily exercise is as beneficial to the mind as it is to the body. Exercise improves your mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative thoughts and enhancing your overall self-esteem. It also helps boost your mood, improve your sleep, and give you an enormous sense of well-being.

In addition, studies show that exercise can help treat mild to moderate forms of depression to the same capacity as anti-depressant medications.

Here are a few tips on how to activate the benefits of exercise for depression

1. Start slow

You don't need to buy expensive gear or commit to a month-long gym membership to start feeling better. Instead, simply putting one foot in front of the other may do the trick. This is because walking is an aerobic exercise suited for almost everyone. All it takes is a pair of comfortable, supportive shoes, and you're ready to go. When it comes to physical and mental improvement, doing something is better than doing nothing.

2. Be realistic

Don't set yourself up to fail with an unrealistic plan. Pressuring yourself to complete a whole program or stick to a strict schedule may result in failure, which can be incredibly demoralizing at this stage. However, achieving goals is crucial to your self-esteem, so setting realistic expectations for yourself is essential.

3. Activate your endorphins

Aerobics and cardio exercises have an edge in activating your endorphins. One example is the runner's high that many athletes report experiencing after crossing a certain threshold of exertion. The euphoria is due to the release of endorphins in the brain in response to sustained physical activity. When released, endorphins can produce a sense of well-being or joy and decrease pain levels.

4. Move with others

Our connections with others are essential in shaping our mental health and well-being. Being part of a team gives you a much-needed support network that teaches you the value of teamwork. Team sports also teach you resilience and how to deal with setbacks. No team wins all the time. Coping with a loss or a poor performance, learning from it, and trying again are all part of the journey.

5. Get your daily dose of sunshine

Sunshine improves our serotonin levels. Even simple activities such as gardening, throwing a ball around with your kids, or washing your car may do you some good if you enjoy being outdoors. First, pick an activity that works best for you, depending on your functioning level, energy, and preferences. Then, enjoy your day in the sun.


Don't underestimate the power of exercise, and particularly exercise for depression. It is a natural way to release mood-regulating endorphins and serotonin and prompt the growth of new brain cells and blood vessels that bring more oxygen into your body.


Dr. Stefanenko Irina Borisovna

Dr. Stefanenko Irina Borisovna Is a medical doctor based out of Ukraine. Dr. Borisovna graduated from the Vinnitsa State Medical University, in 1995. In between 1995-2000, Dr. Borisovna went on to further pursue her post graduation studying scientific activity from the Vinnytsa Medical University in Ukraine.

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Current Version

Aug, 01 2023

Written By

Dr. Stefanenko Irina Borisovna