The Power of Running and Yoga in Beating Depression: Exercise as a Treatment

In a world where depression affects millions of people, new research is shedding light on the powerful impact of exercise in combating this mental health condition. Running or practicing yoga, even when it seems like the last thing you want to do, can significantly help alleviate symptoms of depression. Let’s delve into how exercise, alongside therapy and medication, can be a game-changer in the treatment of depression.

Join a Programme and Go Hard (with Support):

When it comes to incorporating exercise into your routine to combat depression, joining a structured programme and pushing yourself, even just a little, can make a significant difference. Clear exercise goals, intensity, and personalized support are key factors in reaping the benefits of physical activity in managing depression. Whether it’s strength training, yoga, or aerobic exercise, having a support system in place can help you stay motivated and accountable.

Let’s Make This Official:

While some countries view exercise as a secondary treatment for depression, the evidence suggests that it should be considered a primary intervention alongside therapy and medication. The importance of vigorous aerobic activity at least two to three times a week for individuals with depression is highlighted by experts, emphasizing the need to incorporate exercise into standard treatment protocols.

Running to Lose Weight? Please Don’t! Here’s Why:

Although exercise can have physical benefits, such as weight loss, its impact on mental health, particularly in combating depression, should be the primary focus. Instead of solely focusing on weight loss, emphasizing the mental health benefits of running or practicing yoga can lead to a more holistic approach to wellness.


  1. Can exercise alone treat depression? Exercise can be just as effective as therapy and antidepressants in treating depression, particularly when tailored to an individual’s needs and preferences.
  2. What types of exercise are most beneficial for managing depression? Walking, running, strength training, yoga, and mixed aerobic exercise have shown to be effective in alleviating symptoms of depression.
  3. How important is intensity in exercise when combating depression? The intensity of exercise plays a crucial role in its effectiveness in managing depression. Higher-intensity workouts have been shown to yield better results.
  4. Should individuals with depression exercise alone or seek support? Having a support system in place, whether through a fitness group, trainer, or friend, can significantly increase adherence to an exercise routine and enhance the mental health benefits of physical activity.

Why is it important for countries to include exercise in standard treatment protocols for depression? By recognizing exercise as a primary intervention for depression, countries can ensure that individuals receive comprehensive care that addresses both their physical and mental well-being.

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