Mental Health: Best workouts for depression

Strength training can aid in relieving symptoms of depression.

Strength training can aid in relieving symptoms of depression.

What you need to know:

  • For people with depression and similar health conditions, exercise has substantial mental health benefits.
  • If you exercise often but depression or anxiety symptoms still hamper your daily living, see your doctor or mental health professional.
  • Exercise and physical activity are great ways to ease symptoms of depression and anxiety, but they are not a substitute for your therapy or medications.

Depression is a mental health disorder characterised by persistent gloomy moods and/or loss of interest in things. Being depressed can leave you feeling low in energy and deterred. Research has shown regular exercise can reduce or prevent symptoms of depression. In addition, working prevents health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis.


Running burns calories, lessens food cravings, and reduces the risk of getting heart-related complications. It stimulates the release of endorphins which activate positive emotions. Exercise has several physical benefits including:

  • Reduces overall muscle tension
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Improves memory and ability to learn
  • Reduces feeling of loneliness and isolation
  • Reduces stress and boosts mood.


Yoga involves diverse body postures, breathing methods, and meditation. This helps with symptoms such as difficulty concentrating or loss of energy.

People use yoga to manage mental and emotional problems such as anxiety, stress, depression, and overall health and well-being.

Yoga helps with depression in the following ways:

  • Increases pain tolerance
  • Reduce the impact of stress
  • Improves energy and boost mood
  • It is a self-soothing practice, like relaxation, exercise, and meditation

Water aerobics

Water aerobics are cardiovascular exercises that take place in water and engage mental and significant muscles in the body. Aquatic workouts reduce depression and anxiety, improve mental health, and decrease oxidative stress in depressed individuals.

Examples include:

  • Pool walking
  • Treading water
  • Jump jacks
  • Flutter kicking
  • Standing water pushups
  • Arm curls
  • Water jogging

Water exercises help in

Relieving stress and anxiety

Seeing bodies of water in motion is relaxing and can help release tension. That is why vacations to seashores and isle ecstasies are popular. Additionally, being in the water is relaxing and significantly reduces anxiety and awful moods.

Reducing blood pressure

Water pressure works with your blood and enables effective blood circulation, decreasing blood pressure and moderating heart rate. This means the heart maintains its efficiency while putting less stress on your heart, thus reducing stress and anxiety.

Rope jumping

It is one of the best cardio workouts used for cross-training and athletes. It is simple to use, fun, high intensity, cheap and convenient, thus applicable almost everywhere.

Jumping improves your mental health by releasing endorphins, feel-good compounds that boost mood, increasing blood circulation in the body and brain. It helps to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.


Strength training can aid in relieving symptoms of depression. Dumbbells and similar lightweight equipment can help boost one's mood. For people with slight to moderate depression, weightlifting can be a meditative exercise.

While training, the mind is focused on the task at hand, acting as a distraction from depressive thoughts.

Tai chi moves

Like yoga, tai chi moves are a traditional form of exercise that can ease depression. Slow and gentle practice can reduce stress and symptoms of depression. When performed regularly and correctly, tai chi has the following health benefits.

  • Reduced anxiety, stress, and depression
  • Improved mood
  • Better aerobic ability
  • Improved energy and stamina
  • Better flexibility, balance, and agility
  • Improved glutes strength and definition

Sunlight and outdoor activities

Simple activities such as gardening, throwing a ball around with your kids, or washing your car can boost your mood.

Sunlight increases serotonin, a mood-supporting brain chemical. Drops in serotonin during the dark, cold months have been linked to cases of seasonal affective disorder. Choose outdoor activities that suit you the best.