How Does Exercise Help Depression?

If you are struggling with the debilitating symptoms of depression, the last thing you want to do go out for a run. However, exercise is one of the best things you can do to help lessen the effects of depression. It can feel almost impossible to get out of the house to go workout, but if you can dig deep within yourself to find the necessary motivation, you will feel the benefits almost immediately.

What are the Benefits of Exercising?

Not sure if you have heard, but it turns out exercising is pretty good for the human body. Some of the many benefits of exercising includes lowering high blood pressure, reducing anxiety, improving your mood, and reducing symptoms of diabetes and arthritis. There are a number of other benefits to exercising not listed here.

How Does Exercise Help Depression?


While the broad health benefits of exercise are widely known, many are unaware of how working out can help treat depression. Here are two of the most prominent ways exercise helps treat depression.

Exercise Releases Endorphins

Endorphins are the chemicals in your brain that are in charge of making you feel good and happy. When you are depressed, your brain releases very few endorphins, leading to feelings of sadness. When you exercise, your body will release endorphins and other chemicals in the brain that will have you feeling good and improving your sense of well-being.

Working Out Clears Your Head

When you get a sweat going by working out, all you can really focus on is the task at hand. This blissful ignorance can provide a great outlet when depressed, as it allows you to clear your mind and keep your mind off of whatever is worrying you. Working out can also keep you out of the endless cycle of negative thoughts.

Psychological and Emotional Benefits of Exercise

On top of helping treat depression, exercise has a number of psychological and emotional benefits that can help you get in a healthy state of mind. Below find some of the psychological and emotional benefits of exercise that can help you in your battle with depression.

Provides a Depression Coping Strategy

When you are feeling depressed, it is absolutely essential to have a healthy coping strategy. A coping strategy is an activity you can do when feeling the symptoms of depression to help channel your emotions, and exercise provides the perfect outlet. Working out will have you feeling better about yourself and hopefully create a habit that leads to you working out whenever you feel depressed.

Helps Encourage Socializing

Most agree that it is important to reach out to loved ones when dealing with depression. However, the symptoms of depression make it difficult to meet with friends and family, as depression tends to make people want to be alone. When you exercise, you have an easy excuse to meet up with a loved one to go for a walk or workout, or you might even unexpectedly bump into a friend or acquaintance while exercising.

Boost Your Self-Confidence

A great way to get a boost of self-esteem and self-confidence is to exercise. Not only will working out have you liking your appearance more each and every day, it also will supply you with a feeling of accomplishment and pride. If you are dealing with the symptoms of depression, a self-confidence boost could be just what you need.

Depression Treatment in San Diego at Affinity Treatment Center

If you are dealing with depression, exercise may not be enough. While working out can definitely help treat the symptoms of depression, it is just one part of a treatment plan. At Affinity Treatment Center in San Diego, we offer comprehensive depression treatment, helping you successfully navigate the symptoms of depression. If you are interested in learning more, contact us today by calling (760) 917-1112.