Best Exercises To Help Relieve Depression


If you’re suffering from mild to moderate depression, although seeing your physician and possibly talking with a therapist is probably a good idea, there is something else that may be able to relieve your symptoms and help you get your life back – exercise.

Numerous studies have shown that exercise has a positive effect on the moods of people suffering from anxiety and moderate depression. Although it isn’t as effective for people suffering from severe depression, it can still help to support them too.

So, if you’re suffering from depression or anxiety, or even if you’re just experiencing a bad case of the blues, doing a little exercise could be just what you need.

Don’t know where to start? Here are some of the best exercises to relieve depression


Yoga is without a doubt one of the most effective natural mood boosters there is. Sometimes, even the act of putting on a nice pair of yoga pants – there are lots of affordable alternatives to lululemon yoga pants from – is enough to lift the spirits. Then, once you get on the mat and you start focusing on your breathing, stretching out your body and focusing one body and breath as one, the amount of peace you feel is immense, causing you to really relax and get a great deal of relief from your symptoms.


Research has shown that dance classes are better at lowering anxiety than other forms of physical activity and listening to upbeat music has been shown to help boost the moods of people who are feeling down, so combining the two, whether you’re at a Zumba class, or dancing like a maniac in the living room will almost certainly help you to feel better.


A lot of people suffering from depression have found a lot of relief by putting on their running shoes – you can find some great running sneakers at – because not only does it take the focus off the mind and out it on the body, but it also gets the endorphins pumping. Runner’s high is a very real phenomenon, which, due to the release of mood-boosting endorphins can make you feel absolutely fabulous during and after a run.


Hiking, like running, is a cardio activity, which means that it also releases a lot of endorphins, which help to make us feel happier. However, when you’re hiking, you’re also surrounding yourself with nature, and this is another thing that has been proven to boost mental health by lowering stress levels, which is why it is such a good exercise for depression sufferers.

Weight Lifting

A lot of people think that the only benefit to weight lifting is building muscle and improving tone, but it has been shown to be really effective at helping many people relieve their depressions. In fact, a study carried out by the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine found that strength training activities were able to lower anxiety and reduce common symptoms of depression very effectively. This could, at least in part be down to the fact that weight training can boost self-esteem by improving your appearance, and help you to sleep more soundly at night.

Tai Chi

If you find yoga too hard to get into because you’re not exactly limber (although this will change once you’ve been practicing for a while) you might find that the gentler exercise of Tai Chi gives you many of the same benefits.

Tai Chi is a mix of meditative practice and martial arts- both of which in their own rights can help to alleviate the symptoms of depression – which requires you to make slow, gentle movements, relax your muscles and focus on your breath. It can be particularly effective at lowering stress levels, but it is also really good at boosting the mood, especially when performed first thing in the morning, too.


Walking is the perfect exercise for those of you whose depression has zapped most of your energy and motivation. You might not be able to psyche yourself up to go for a run or head to your yoga class, but you can probably manage a swift walk around the block, and this will help you relieve your depression. The act of going outside for a while alone will be beneficial, add that to the endorphin release that comes with being active and the fact you’ll be breathing in fresh air and walking really can be of great help.

Do you suffer from depression? Has physical exercise helped you? Share your tips with our readers!

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