Exercise Physiology for Depression

Exercise can assist in treating depression in several ways. Exercise promotes Neurogenesis (the growth of new neurons in the brain) and increases in cerebral blood flow. It also increases levels of plasma Beta endorphin, norepinephrine and serotonin (neurotransmitters) which assist in mood and state of mind. Exercise also lowers stress indicators such as resting blood pressure and pulse values.

Exercise will help people with depression. The neurological affects of exercise improve mood and improve memory. Exercise will increase a persons energy levels and improve sleep patterns which in turn helps with neurotransmitter release in the brain.

Exercise also assists in increasing self esteem (how you perceive yourself) and self efficacy (how you perceive your ability of performing tasks) as well as increasing positive social experiences.

Aerobic exercise has traditionally been prescribed and is thought to help by increasing interaction with others and providing a positive social setting. It also increases self confidence and self efficacy.

Strength training has now been found to be a bigger influence in the fight against depression. Strength training promotes neurogenesis and cerebral blood flow as well as increase Beta Endorphins, norepinephrine and serotonin which works in a similar manner as prescribed antidepressants.


When exercising ,exercise with other people that you enjoy being with to make the experience more enjoyable and encourage constant participation.

Exercising in the natural sunlight is beneficial, not only can it be relaxing, but the natural sunlight increasing the release of seratin in the brain.

Different exercises have different effects upon depression and an exercise program may take up to 16 weeks to be effective. Talking to an Exercise Physiologist can provide you with information on the best types of exercise for you, and how to maintain your motivation.

Talk to your GP about a referral to an Exercise Physiologist or contact Enriched. Rebates Available through Medicare Plus (with GP referral) and Private Health funds.

Why wait? Download your first Exercise Program here!

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