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Exercise & Depression

With the incidence of depression increasing in proportions in the corporate world, as well as the increase in stress and anxiety conditions, there is a greater need for easily accessible treatment and prevention methods. 

Exercise participation is most helpful in relieving depression.  Depression is a normal response to a stressor that can be experienced in a client's life in response to grief or loss, job related (termination, transfer, retirement) or due to separation.  It can even be triggered by reaching an important goal, followed by a let-down. 

Such depressed feelings triggered by life events are a normal emotional response and exercise can reduce the symptoms of depression from persisting beyond the normal boundaries that can lead to clinical depression.

Regular exercise has been recognised to assist in the management of long- term depression.  The greater the total number of exercise sessions undertaken by the client, then the client will experience a decrease in depression.  While exercise three times per week has been found to be sufficient for positive results, more improvements can be achieved by increasing the frequency of exercise sessions per week.  From experience, a combination of both cardiovascular and resistance training seem equally effective in producing anti-depressive effects and tend to begin at four weeks onward.  Generally, a client will experience an increase in their mood following a training session.

To maximize exercise effectively for reducing depression the activities should be:

  • fun and enjoyable;
  • involve rhythmical breathing (a meditative effect);
  • non-competitive (otherwise may be too stressful);
  • relatively moderate in intensity to allow the client to ease into the activity unless they prefer a more intense form of activity;
  • carried out over a minimum duration of 20 to 30 minutes; and
  • built into a regular daily/weekly routine structured around the client’s work commitments.

Body Corporate Lifestyle offers a variety of fitness solutions available to executives as part of our coping strategies to assist people in everyday life.  Our methods may serve as a viable alternative or adjunct to traditional treatments such as anti-depressants. 

Exercise can serve as a buffer for stress and everyday mood fluctuations and has been clinically proven and used as a preventative measure in order to promote an individual’s health and general well-being.


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