Depression leaves you feeling drained or fatigued. That can make you shy away from being active.

Exercising regularly is one way to improve your mood if you have depression. It is particularly effective for people who suffer from mild or moderate depression.

Dr. Alan Cohen, a general practitioner with a specialization in mental health tells us that any type of exercise will do. You simply need to do enough of it to get results. You should also enjoy what you are doing or it will be impossible to stay motivated. 

How often should you exercise to beat depression?

Adults should do 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. This is not just for depression but also just to stay healthy.

If you have been away for awhile, introduce exercise gradually into your daily routine.

Any exercise is better than no exercise! A quick 10-minute walk can clear your head and help you feel more relaxed.

How to Start Exercising

Find something you can do regularly. Attend a class at a leisure center, play a team sport or just opt to walk or bike wherever possible.

Does being outside appeal to you? Join Green Gym. The Conservation Volunteers offer exercise session for those who do not want to be indoors working out at a gym. Find out more from their website.

If you like the idea of walking but feel you need motivation from others then visit the Walking for Health website. You can find a walking group in your area. This group supports people who have health and mental problems.

Exercising on Prescriptions

If you are worried about exercising while taking medication or if you haven’t exercised for a while, ask your doctor about taking up exercise. Many surgeons around the country actually prescribe exercise itself as a form of depression treatment.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence also known as NICE suggests that people who suffer from mild or moderate depression do three sessions of exercise a week. Each session should be about 45 minutes to an hour. This should be at least for 10 to 14 weeks.

Your doctor can assist you with choosing the right activity for you. Look over the Prescription for Exercise website to get more help picking a suitable exercise. You can find what is best for you based on your circumstances and what is available near you. Exercise programs are offered for free or at discounted prices.

Other Depression Help

There are talking therapies, antidepressants, and self-help available. If you have been feeling sad for over two weeks talk to your GP about your symptoms. They will discuss the treatment choices available to you so you can decide what is best.