Exercising Through Depression: Can Physical Fitness Help Prevent Depression?

Exercising Through Depression: Can Physical Fitness Help Prevent Depression?

Jun 02, 2017
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Exercising through depression is one way to help manage symptoms while reducing stress and potential weight gain. According to Psychology Today, 25 Studies Confirm Exercise Prevents Depression, there’s enough research proving how depression is manageable with practice. Both fitness and meditation offer a fresh approach to combatting stress and reducing symptoms of depression.

Exercising Through Depression- Can Physical Fitness Help Prevent Depression?Exercising Through Depression: More Studies Prove Fitness Treats Depression

The article goes on to magnify that even moderate exercise promotes mental health:

“The majority of these studies were of high methodological quality and provided consistent evidence that physical activity boosts happiness and prevents future depression. There is growing evidence that even very moderate levels of physical activity (e.g. walking 20 to 30 minutes a day, which adds up to just over two hours per week) can prevent future depression.”

When the body begins to move, blood starts to flow, allowing the heart to work harder. Exercising through depression allows for our bodies to move past emotional feelings that might otherwise keep us stagnant. If we push our bodies to move, our body temperature rises, thus producing sweat. Sweating is an important function of the body because it expels toxins and cleans out our pores, eliminating blackheads in the process.

Exercising Through Depression: Can Physical Fitness Help Prevent Depression?

While we sweat, our body temperature rises, killing bacteria and viruses that can’t live beyond 98.6 degrees. By sweating, our body can detox, helping to reduce any chances of developing kidney stones.

Stimulate The Right Chemicals By Exercising Through Depression

Dr. David Muzina, founder of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Mood Disorders Treatment and Research, states that, “Exercise stimulates the release of many of the brain chemicals thought to be in low supply when someone is battling depression.”

Exercising through depression may sound like an oxymoron because depressives can experience a lack of energy and motivation. So, if you’re not feeling up to getting in shape, there are a few things you can do. Even specific types of exercises such as yoga have been proven to benefit mental health in positive ways. Yoga is said to help with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and other types of mental illnesses.

Get A Workout Partner To Hold You Accountable

Having a workout buddy can help push you through any slump you might face. Because, once you agree to train with a friend, chances are you don’t want to renege on them and let them down. So, exercising with someone is helpful for accountability sake. When picking a workout partner, be sure you choose someone who is even more motivated than you. If you select a person who will agree to give up easily, it’s harder to regain the momentum you need. You want someone who will not take no for an answer and will get you going and out of the house.

Invest In A Personal Trainer

Yes, personal trainers can be expensive, but they are worth it especially if you don’t have a workout buddy. Sometimes “like” attracts “like,” as our friends might be as withdrawn as us and or suffering from similar mental health issues. Likewise, people can be busy and unable to coordinate a workout schedule. Regardless of the reason, getting a personal trainer is key to obtaining what you’re lacking.

While a workout trainer requires a financial investment, think of it as an investment in yourself. You have to ask yourself how much are you worth? How important is your mental and physical wellbeing?

Share Before And After Pictures Via Social Media

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Sharing your “before” weight loss picture might be a little intimidating, but accountability does work. There’s nothing better than having someone on your side, someone to push you when you are unable (or unwilling) to push yourself. We all can make excuses why we can’t go workout. However, the chances of repetitively canceling on a trainer are much lower. It’s easier to flake if we’re the only one responsible for inspiring ourselves.

Inspiration can also take many other shapes, such as through Facebook Groups.

Don’t Be Afraid Of The “You” Before Weight Loss!

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Removing fear of judgment, posting your “before” picture is both a humbling and exciting step. You are declaring to the world that you are capable of losing weight and that your weight loss journey is happening because you’re making it happen.

If you battle with clinical depression or your weight is making you feel down, don’t allow a label to define you. This is especially true if that label happens to be “overweight.” Get up and move past the urge to do nothing. Take active steps to exercise through depression, and you’ll sweat through the weak moments, coming out the other side victorious.

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Exercise Through Depression Don’t Let Anything Hold You Back!


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    • I struggle with staying active as well unfortunately. I haven’t actually been exercising as much as I should, so when doing research for this post…it was a reminder even to myself. I had to look up “Dysthymiais” what’s the difference between “Dysthymiais” and depression? I’m wondering if it’s the same thing. I’ll have to do some research on that. Is there anything else that helps you get motivated? 🙂

  1. I am a big believer that running/exercise helps with depression and stress. I have in past, suffered from depression and I always notice a huge improvement in my mood and outlook on life after a hard run.

    • Yeah, I know running is a huge help for many people. I’ve always wished that I could get in to running but always told myself that I hated it. I think our minds are powerful. I really and truly believe that we can make ourselves enjoy something. The more we tell ourselves something, we start to believe it. I think we can see running or exercise in a new light, a natural elixir to boost our mental health. 🙂

    • Holy Cow! Wow…you lost 90 lbs?!?! That’s AMAZING! I bet you feel much better without all the weight literally weighing you down physically and mentally. Good job and congrats for losing the weight and staying dedicated!

        • Ha ha…yeah, I’ve been reading a bunch of blogs on mouth-watering donuts. Yes, the biggest challenge is keeping off the weight. I just recently lost 15 lbs finally after 2 years of keeping an extra 15 pounds on since my daughter was born. I hope to keep it off too.

  2. Exercise is such a great self-regulator. Great points. And I’ve always found in general exercise de-stresses me and helps me get my beauty sleep, as heaven knows I need all I can get!

    • Definitely, exercise is a great regulator for sleep. It’s amazing how much better your sleep, mental attitude, and not to mention your physical body feels just from exercising.


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