What Are Some Of The Most Common Exercises Associated With Depression?

Depression affects one’s mental health and life in more ways than one. It can make it difficult for a person to get out of bed, interact with others, or even go about their daily lives without feeling sad, exhausted, hopeless, etc.  Huntington Beach Physical Therapy can help prevent these feelings from happening because it releases chemicals that positively affect your brain. Some proven benefits of exercise are increased energy levels, better self-esteem and body image, fewer feelings of stress/anxiety/depression/etc., improved cardiovascular function, etc. So what exactly are some of the most common exercises associated with?

Physical therapists typically recommend exercises like walking, swimming, jogging/running, strength training exercises (weight lifting), aerobic exercises (dancing, Zumba, etc.), yoga, tai chi, biking…etc. The physical therapist will generally evaluate what physical abilities you have and what physical activities would be best to help increase those physical abilities. Your physical therapist can help guide you through these exercises.


Walking is considered one of the best forms of Physical Therapy Huntington Beach for people suffering from depression or anxiety because it has so many benefits, as previously mentioned as well as some other advantages such as helping you meet new people or spending time with old friends who are doing the same thing as you are.

Walking is also a great physical exercise that will help increase your physical abilities, which you then can take to other physical activities or physical therapy exercises. Also, walking gets you outside in nature and helps change your mood by giving you time to think about life or the problems in your life.

Lifting Weights

Lifting weights has many physical health benefits, like increasing muscle mass and healthy body weight. Still, lifting weights also has some psychological help for depression because it releases endorphins into their system. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that act as natural painkillers, enhance moods, and induce feelings of euphoria. Therefore if you are feeling depressed due to stress at work or home, lifting weights could help you feel better.

Playing With Pets

Although playing with pets has physical benefits such as reducing blood pressure and heart rate and relaxing muscles, it can also help reduce depression because interaction with pets has been shown in several studies to increase endorphin levels. In addition, physical contact such as hugging and petting a cute animal releases oxytocin in the brain, which is known as the “happy hormone” due to its mood-elevating effects after physical interactions.

Exercising Regularly

Regular physical activity will make you look and feel better and has many benefits like increasing your lifespan and reducing your risk for cancer and cardiovascular diseases. But exercising can also improve depressive symptoms by releasing endorphins into your system. Exercise gives your body the physical stress that it needs to release chemicals called cytokines into the bloodstream that stimulate mental health and physical health.

Here are the most helpful exercise to ease your depression:

  • Yoga: Yoga brings calmness to your mind to reduce depressive symptoms. In addition, the physical exercises involved in this practice have been shown to have antidepressant effects by increasing dopamine levels in the brain, which is responsible for emotions of happiness and pleasure.
  • Aerobic Exercise: Aerobic exercise releases endorphins into your body which improve feelings of well-being and self-esteem, among other things, so do it at least three times a week for at least 30 minutes each session to see results. Going outside if you can as being out in nature is another way physical activity will make you feel better because it reduces cortisol levels (stress hormone) and makes you feel more alive.
  • Tai Chi: Tai chi focuses on meditation and slow movements to be performed anywhere, including parks or people’s front lawns, so wear something comfortable and get ready to sweat because this physical activity works up a good one. You don’t need any equipment besides loose-fitting clothing, so if you live in an apartment or don’t have room to work out, you can still do tai chi.

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