How to use exercise to treat depression and anxiety

It sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? But it is a well documented fact that the exercise has the power to lift your mood quite significantly, and is a fantastic tool to help manage depression and anxiety. 

Research has found mental health benefits with a range of different types of exercise, duration and intensity. The most important factor seems to be regularity; making exercise a part of your weekly routine and being physically active on a daily basis.


Regular exercise may alleviate symptoms of depression by:

  • Increasing energy levels

  • Improving sleep

  • Distracting from worries and rumination

  • Providing social support and reducing loneliness - in the case of group exercise

  • Increasing sense of control and self-esteem

  • Increasing the level of endorphins in the brain 

Our friends at Mood Active are huge advocates of the benefits of exercise to treat depression and actually run free fitness programs for people suffering from depression and anxiety. If you are interested in joining in one of their programs or social groups, head over to their website at to read more. 


Often we wait until we are not feeling 100% to look after our mental and physical health. But how many cases of depression could we prevent if we started before then? Started at the first sign? Or, regardless just made exercise a regular part of our life?

Some tips to start building towards making this a part of your life include:

  • Go for a short walk or jog outdoors; with a friend, family member or enjoy the peace and quiet yourself

  • Speak to your GP or local allied health professional like an Exercise Physiologist, here at Balanced Bodies we are happy to help!

  • Seek a group fitness and education program like MoodActive

  • Get your muscles working with a few body weight strength exercises