Exercise

Oh, exercise – that thing you know is so good for you but is so difficult to do when depressed. Exercise isn’t just good for the physical benefits; research has shown that it can be just as effective as the leading medication and therapy treatments for depression. That’s why friends, family, and especially care providers keep recommending it. 

The key to getting started with exercising when depressed is to start off small. Just get moving. If going for a walk is your goal and you’re stuck in bed, for instance:

  • Try simply moving your arms and legs.
  • Then maybe you’ll feel ready to get out of bed and walk to the kitchen. Stop there and see how you feel.
  • Maybe you’ll feel ready to walk to the front door, and just sit outside and breathe fresh air.
  • Maybe you will stop there for the day, or maybe you’ll be able to walk down the street. Keep going if you can!

Try not to judge, and instead celebrate each action you’re able to do. The exercises below can help get you started, based on where you’re at.

Exercise for Depression

Try the Wakeout App

If there is one app to download for exercising while depressed, it's this one.
- Choose workouts that are as short as 30 seconds, based on where you are (bedroom, living room, work, sitting, standing, etc.).
- Customize based on mood (relaxing, energizing, intense, or fun) and length of workout.

Click Here for More Info

How to Exercise When You Are Depressed

Exercise is one of the best tools on managing depression. The cruel irony, of course, is that depression makes it harder to exercise...thankfully, it’s not impossible.

Yoga For Depression - Yoga With Adriene

Yoga For Depression is a 15 min yoga practice to help balance and restore both the physical and emotional body.

1 Hour Pilates Class for Stress, Anxiety, & Depression

Intermediate/advanced level.

4 Yoga Poses for Depression

Yoga for depression

Depression and Exercise - A Simple Workout

This is a video for any person suffering with depression and anxiety that would like to start exercising but not sure how.

Chair Exercises (Can Do Sitting Down)

Yoga at Your Desk

This sequence is ideal for those who want to sneak in a quick yoga break or for those who are in healing and want to practice a little bit of opening with the support of a chair.

Chair Exercises - Seated Chair Workout

Chair exercises seated workout by Lucy Wyndham-Read

12 Core Strengthening Exercises You Can Do In The Office (Without Leaving Your Seat)

Finally, you can have a stronger core than before... Without needing to go to the gym or lay out a yoga mat.

Workouts You Can Do Sitting Down

By Goodful

Chair Stretches Class. Seated Total Body Flexibility Routine

This video is a Chair Stretch Flow Class. Seated Total Body Routine

Low-Intensity Seated Cardio Work Out

Join Natalie Ikeman, PA-C from the HCMC Golden Valley Clinic while she takes you through a low-intensity seated cardiovascular exercise.

Exercises to Lose Your Arms & Stomach While Sitting Down : Pilates & Core Exercises

By eHowFitness

3 Best Couch Exercises

You don't need a gym or equipment to get a great workout! These 3 exercises can be done from a couch.

Bed Exercises (Can Do Lying Down)

12 Easy Exercises To Do In Bed To Reduce Fat

*Note- exercising for the sake of getting active and feeling better emotionally is encouraged (losing weight isn't the goal of the videos recommended on the CFD website)

5-Minute AB Exercises in Bed!

These moves will strengthen your core and keep you awake in the morning.

Lazy Couch/Bed Potato Workout (100% Lying Down)

Note- CFD did not name this video. We are in no way implying that you are lazy. You are doing the best you can. This video simply had great workout ideas.

Ultimate Daily Stretching Routine for Flexibility and Relaxation

The best time for me to get more flexible is right before bed.

Abs and Leg Workout In BED (10 Mins)

Welcome to a fun and exciting workout, that you can do in bed! Yes, you can stay nice and warm while you do this routine and of course, stay in your pajamas too.

5-Minute Fat-Burning Workout You Can Do In Bed

*Note- exercising for the sake of getting active and feeling better emotionally is encouraged (losing weight isn't the goal of the videos recommended on the CFD website)

Lazy Girl Full Body Workout - 7 min. (NO JUMPING)

Note- CFD did not name this video. We are in no way implying that you are lazy. You are doing the best you can. This video simply had great workout ideas.

10 minute Bedtime Yoga In Bed | Relaxing Bedtime Yoga Routine

Relaxing yoga routine in bed.

Did you know...

Text on this page can be read to you!

Let’s face it – depression can make reading really difficult. That’s why we’ve tried to make this website as accessible as possible – no long paragraphs, and text-to-speech capabilities. Simply highlight the text you want to read and press the play button.*

*if you are using text-to-speech on a mobile phone, make sure the sound is on