Exercise and Depression

Exercise and Depression

What is depression?

  • Is the feeling of intense sadness for long periods of time (weeks, months or even years).
  • Depression is more than just a low mood it’s a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health.

What causes depression?

  • Depression usually results from a combination of recent events rather than one acute issue.
  • Long term unemployment, living in an abusive or uncaring relationship, long term isolation or loneliness, prolonged work stress are more likely to cause depression.
  • Recent events such as losing a job or a combination of events can trigger depression
  • Depression can run in families and some people are at increased genetic risk
  • An individual’s personality may be more at risk of depression particularly if they have a tendency to worry a lot.

Sign and Symptoms?

  • You may have depression if, for more than two weeks you’ve felt sad, down or miserable most of the time or have lost interest and pleasure in usual activities.
  • Other symptoms include withdrawing from close family and friends, feeling guilty or lacking in confidence and tired all the time.

Types of depression?

  • Mild, moderate and severe depression
  • Melancholia
  • Psychotic depression 
  • Antenatal and postnatal depression
  • A common treatment approach for depression is a regular exercise to help improve mood, reduce stress and reduce the depressive symptoms. 

Top Tips for Exercising with Depression

  • It is recommended that individuals achieve the recommended 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week to gain the most benefits.
  • Mix up some aerobic and resistance exercise in your routine during the week.
      • Try to get your heart rate up with running, cycling or swimming.
      • Perform 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions of 8-10 strength exercises of the major muscle groups 2-3 times per week. 
  • Start your regime slowly first and build up gradually as motivation and physical capacity allows.
  • Do some social sport or exercises classes in your weeks such as boxing or yoga.
  • Try learning a new skill and add variety in your exercise routine during the week.

If you are living with depression and want to start an exercise program to help you, we recommend chatting to our Exercise Physiologist here at BodyWorx.

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