Best Exercises for Depression 

Many people search for a way to manage their depression without the use of medication. Exercise is a great way to release endorphins and naturally address your depression. There are actually certain exercises that are best suited for this. 

Walking & Running

Any variation of walking, running, jogging, etc. can be beneficial in helping you manage your depression. These types of exercise get your heart pumping and increase your breathing, which is what leads to your brain releasing endorphins. The repetitive motion can also benefit you mentally. Walking/running can have similar effects to meditation because you are doing the same action over and over. This allows your thoughts to flow seamlessly in and out of your mind and it can be a great way for you to process emotions. Additionally, walking/running can help release any mental tension you may be experiencing. As you add this type of exercise to your routine, consider what works best for you. If going out for a jog isn’t appealing, then a brisk walk can be a great place to start. 

Weight Lifting

Studies have shown that weight lifting can lead to an improvement in depression symptoms. There are many ways that weight lifting can do this. When you weight lift, you are improving the strength of your body. This can help you function better in your daily life which can in turn improve your outlook on your circumstances. Over time, weight lifting can also help to improve your physical appearance. When this happens, it can help to improve your overall body image. It’s important that you don’t try to rush these results or expect them too soon. It takes time, but this can give you the opportunity to have a goal to work towards which also helps improve your depression. 


When struggling with depression, it can be very beneficial to find ways to relax your body. Yoga is a great form of exercise that allows you to get your body moving and improve your fitness while also calming and centering your mind. While doing yoga, you focus on deliberate movements and consistent breathing. Much like walking/running, these movements can help to clear your mind and allow you to focus on one thought at a time. 

Exercise is beneficial to you in many ways, but the mental benefits are often overlooked. It’s worth it to add some form of exercise to your routine in order to address your depression. Start by finding something that suits you. 

Learn more about depression and how to manage it.