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Life style changes: Exercise

When you’re depressed, just getting out of bed can seem like a daunting task, let alone working out! But exercise is a powerful depression fighter - and one of the most important tools in your recovery arsenal. Research shows that regular exercise can be as effective as medication for relieving depression symptoms. It also helps prevent relapse once you’re well.

To get the most benefit, aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. This doesn’t have to be all at once - and it’s okay to start small. A 10-minute walk can improve your mood for two hours.

Exercise is something you can do right now to boost your mood


Your fatigue will improve if you stick with it

Starting to exercise can be difficult when you’re depressed and exhausted. But research shows that your energy levels will improve if you keep with it. You will be less fatigued, not more, once it’s part of your routine.


Find exercises that are continuous and rhythmic

The most benefits for depression come from rhythmic exercise—such as walking, weight training, swimming, martial arts, or dancing—where you move both your arms and legs.


Add a mindfulness element

Especially if your depression is rooted in unresolved trauma or fed by obsessive, negative thoughts. Focus on how your body feels as you move - such as the sensation of your feet hitting the ground, or the feeling of the wind on your skin, or the rhythm of your breathing.


Lifestyle changes that can treat depression

Peer Support

All too often men with depression tend to isolate themselves because they don’t want to feel like they are a burden on others.

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Sleep

Sleep has a strong effect on mood. When you don't get enough sleep, your depression symptoms will be worse.

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Stress reduction

Too much stress exacerbates depression and puts you at risk for future depression.

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Sunlight

Sunlight can help boost serotonin levels and improve your mood.

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What you eat

What you eat has a direct impact on the way you feel.

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