Is Exercise a Therapy for Depression?

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“I am depressed” is a very common phrase nowadays. We see people of every age and every class, using it frequently. But according to studies, it is affecting our adult population more than others. It has become an alarming situation in our society and requires a proper check.

Depression is not a disease, it is a medical condition and can be a cause of many other diseases. As it is not a disease but it can be worse than a real disease in its outcomes. We may describe it as;
A mental illness characterized by having persistent loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities, feeling down or sad frequently and this condition lasts longer than usual.”

According to a study held in Karachi in 2009, revealed that almost 60 people attempted suicide and lost their lives and 20 people were saved in different areas so this scale can be used to estimate the prevalence of depression in Pakistan. If you or any of your loved ones are suffering from depression it is advisable to consult the best psychologist in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad or main cities of Pakistan.

Treatment and Management

It is a widely spread virus but it can be controlled by proper treatment. Its management involves these basic components;

    • Drug treatment: use of anti-depressants
    • Psychotherapy: It involves the cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
    • Support system
    • Exercise therapy

Exercise therapy

As medication therapy using antidepressants is first-line treatment but exercise therapy has an equal importance. Here we will discuss a natural therapy that has been proven very useful because of the fact that patients do not comply with the antidepressant medication therapy.

Related: 7 Solutions For Depression

The outcomes of exercise therapy have been a subject of interest for many years and a well-controlled follow up is required in this regard.
We will explain the most common 6 exercises that have been proved very useful for alleviating depression and these include;

Aerobic Exercise

In order to manage this mental illness patients are recommended to control their weight and keep a regular check on it. Practicing this exercise on regular basis but on an appropriate level for each subject, at least 30 min will bring maximum benefit. It helps in improvement of physical health as well as a reduction in blood pressure.


It is a combination therapy of physical, mental and spiritual disciplines which rooted from ancient India. It is considered as best therapy wherever the relaxation is required. It relaxes the muscles as well as helps to control the anger appearing in depression.


This technique is very useful to gain control. Depression forces people to think that they are helpless and do not have control of anything. This practice provides them the lead to improve their mental strength along physical strength. According to sources, regular training helps to reduce the symptoms of depression.

Thai Chi

It is a practice involving Chinese martial arts with specified meditative movements. It involves physical balance, mental concentration, relaxed breathing along muscle relaxation.
It is basically originated from China and according to sources, it has been proven its effectiveness in controlling the symptoms of depression.

Break a sweat

It doesn’t mean that the patient is recommended to join the gym but the studies have proven that sweating as a result of any exercise for example; running, helps to reduce the blood pressure as well as the symptoms of anxiety and depression.


It has been proven that taking dance classes such as Zumba, salsa or just grooving out to music in your own comfort zone, helps more than regular physical exercises, to control depression.
The aim is to relax the body muscles and diverting attention from baseless things provoking the symptoms of depression.

You can also find best Psychologists in other main cities of Pakistan:

Best Psychologist in Lahore
Best Psychologist in Islamabad
Best Psychologist in Faisalabad
Best Psychologist in Multan

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Sehar Mangat
She is a Registered Pharmacist by profession. She has professional experience of patient counseling at well-known hospital setups of Pakistan. She is passionate to serve mankind with her medical knowledge and writing skills. Recently; playing her role well as a content writer at Marham.