The Best Workouts for Depression
Exercise is not just a way to lose weight and build muscle – it supports your mental health, hormonal functions, and does wonders for your self-esteem. Although we still don’t fully understand the antidepressant effect of exercise, numerous studies show that it does help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
According to a most recent study on depression treatment and a review of over 30 clinical trials, resistance and strength training can significantly reduce the number and intensity of depression symptoms among adults. And that’s a considerable deal because resistance workouts have a substantial scope of exercises you can do, with or without the equipment. Any workout that impacts your muscle strength and overall endurance can also ease the symptoms of depression.
Simple Resistance Workouts
Resistance workouts hit every major muscle group, and you can do them with a dumbbell, kettlebell, or on an exercise machine.
A simple resistance workout program should look like this:
- 10- push-ups
- 10- squats
- 10- pull-ups
- 10- deadlifts
Do this circuit up to four times a day while taking a rest between every ten reps. By the end of each week, you will feel stronger and more motivated so you will make increments in the weight you’re using. It is excellent for improving your mental health as it teaches and builds discipline.
The “Big 5” Workout Program
While simple resistance workouts can be done at home, the Big 5 workout would require you to hit the gym as it’s done on several exercise machines. Here’s how it works.
You make one set of each move and take each set to the point of muscular failure (until you can’t do it anymore.) You should do:
- Seated Rows
- Chest presses
- Overhead presses
- Leg presses
The beauty of the Big 5 workout is that you don’t need to spend extensive time at the gym while it boosts your motivation because you will always be pushing yourself to your limit and never giving up.
The HIIT Workout Program
There are times when getting out of bed can seem like an impossible task; let alone go to the gym. The HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workout is perfect for this as it is something you could do it anywhere you like. Here’s how it works.
You do each exercise for a minute, and in between each activity, you walk in place for 30 seconds. Here’s the routine:
- Jog in place
- Bodyweight squats
- High jumps
This workout is as simple as it gets, and it’s done with your bodyweight. The time intervals should be followed strictly, but the tempo of the workout is entirely up to you.
It Only Takes a Dash of Motivation
One in six people has faced depression at any given year of their life. And if you suffer from chronic depression, you may be in for a lifelong battle. Even if regular exercise combined with proper treatment doesn’t help you overcome it, it will surely raise your spirits and build that extra motivation you need in life. And it only takes a dash of it to make the first step towards recovery.