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How Exercise Can Help Fight Depression

Woman works out in park after learning how exercise helps fight depression

Does exercise help depression? Yes, regular exercise can help alleviate depression and improve overall mental health. Physical activity has been found to release endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and mood boosters. In addition, exercise can also reduce levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and increase the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and sleep. At Northpoint Omaha, we realize that exercise helps fight depression and is an important aspect of treatment for individuals struggling with mental health issues.

Our depression treatment takes into account the benefits of exercise. To learn more about our compassionate treatment for depression, contact us at 888.687.8014 today. Our whole-person approach to health and wellness includes incorporating physical activity into individualized treatment plans.

What Is Depression

Depression is a mental health condition that significantly affects a person’s feelings, thoughts, and actions. Signs of the condition include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness
  • Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Difficulty sleeping or excessive sleeping
  • Loss of energy and fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide

Depression can be debilitating, impacting an individual’s daily life and relationships with others.

Dangers of Depression

If left untreated, depression can lead to:

  • Negative impacts on physical health, potentially leading to chronic pain, heart disease, and other conditions
  • Strained relationships with loved ones due to changes in mood and behavior
  • Inability to perform daily tasks and fulfill responsibilities
  • Increased risk of substance abuse or other harmful coping mechanisms
  • Suicidal thoughts and actions

It is important to seek professional help if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression. Early intervention can prevent these potential dangers and lead to improved quality of life.

How Exercise Helps Fight Depression

Exercise is a powerful tool in fighting depression. Regular physical activity can boost mood, reduce stress, improve sleep, and improve overall well-being. Here’s how:

Endorphin Boost

Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators.

Improved Sleep

Regular physical activity can help regulate sleep patterns, a crucial aspect of mental health management.

Increased Confidence

Achieving exercise goals or improving physical fitness can boost self-confidence and enhance body image.


Engaging in physical activity can provide a positive distraction from negative thought patterns associated with depression.

Social Interaction

Group exercises or team sports can provide opportunities for increased social interaction and support.

At Northpoint Omaha, we believe in a holistic approach to mental health treatment. Exercise is an essential component of our whole-person treatment plans for depression.

Types of Exercising to Help Fight Depression

Various forms of exercise can aid in managing depression symptoms:

  1. Aerobic exercises –These include activities like running, biking, swimming, or even brisk walking. They increase heart rate and breathing, promoting the release of endorphins.
  2. Strength training – Lifting weights or other resistance exercises can help improve mood by increasing strength and confidence.
  3. Yoga –This form of exercise combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. It can help reduce anxiety and improve mood.
  4. Tai chi – This gentle exercise involves slow, flowing movements and deep breathing, promoting relaxation and stress reduction.
  5. Dance – Engaging in dancing can be a fun and effective way to exercise, boost mood, and reduce stress.

Incorporating any of these types of exercises into your routine can positively affect both physical and mental health. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise regimen.

Contact Northpoint Omaha Now

If you or a loved one is struggling with depression, contact Northpoint Omaha today. As an outpatient-only center in Omaha, Nebraska, we offer comprehensive, evidence-based treatment programs. Our therapeutic approach includes family therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy, which, combined with regular exercise, can help manage symptoms, improve mood, and lead to a healthier, happier life.

Don’t wait. Contact us at 888.687.8014 today. Everyone deserves to be happy and healthy.