Clinical Notes 3: Mental Health & Exercise For Depression

While there can be a number of factors with the development of the cause of depression, taking part in exercise on a consistent basis has been shown to help in reducing the symptoms of depression. In this blog post I will share some insights about the type of exercise, the relationship between exercise and medication, and the type of intensity for mood improvement.


The Type Of Exercise Found To Be Effective For Depression

Did you know that exercise is listed as a recommended part of treatment in the Canadian Psychological Association guidelines for mood disorders?

(Ok, it is also listed in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in the UK and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists as well).

Research in 2017 has shown that regular exercise can help to reduce the risk of other health conditions related to depression, like heart disease and diabetes as well as having a significant effect on mood.

mental health, depression, exercise, the other pain clinic


Does Exercise Have A Good Relationship When Combined With Medication?

While you may have a question about the relationship about exercise and medication, it is strongly recommended to not change or stop taking medication that has been prescribed, even though exercise may have similar effects to medication (but less side effects). For example, exercise can have the similar effect as reducing the risk of falling, but does so by strengthening muscles and helping with body weight and blood pressure through a structured exercise program.

Worldwide, it is acknowledged that exercise is an effective treatment and management component for mood related disorders, such a depression and should be incorporated into a health care plan.

mental health, depression, exercise, the other pain clinic

What Is The Most Effective Intensity To Improve Mood?

Good question! Most of the time the rehab industry uses guidelines similar to that for the general public:

  • moderate intensity of aerobic exercise such as walking, cycling, running 30 to 60 minutes per session at least 3 days per week
  • moderate intensity resistance training of 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions for 60 minutes at least 3 days per week

Hmmm … well that may seem to be a bit confusing as well as daunting and lots to do!! Here is my take on it – any intensity, from low to moderate (and even vigorous) can be beneficial: it really depends on the person who is doing the exercising and the importance of having an individually prepared exercise program done. mental health, depression, exercise, the other pain clinic


Clinical Notes 3 Summary:

If you or someone you know is looking to start using exercise as a way to manage depression, here are two things to do:

  1. Talk to your doctor about wanting to start and exercise program
  2. Follow this blog post and The Other Pain Clinic Inc™  for its upcoming Mental Health 10 Step Challenge: First Steps To Self-Care Through Lifestyle Habits©




Make your day an amazing day,


Founder & Chief Medical Exercise Specialist

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