Exercise for Mental Health

Everyone experiences throughout life periods of temporary unhappiness and emotional pain.  This is relatively common, especially as we are heading into colder weather. However, when sadness persists and impairs daily functioning, it may indicate a depressive disorder.  Severity, duration, and the presence of other symptoms are the factors that distinguish normal sadness from clinical depression.

Both aerobic exercise and resistance training can help provide some improvement in mood symptoms for patients with depression. 

  • Aerobic workouts can raise chemicals in the brain, such as endorphins, adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine that produce the so-called runner's high
  • Yoga practice, which involves rhythmic stretching movements and breathing, may help improve and stabilize mood
  • Meditation may also be helpful