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Readers Respond: How to Get Motivated to Exercise When You're Depressed

Responses: 11


Updated October 03, 2011

From the article: Exercise and Depression

Although multiple studies have shown that exercise can help depression, the symptoms of depression -- such as fatigue and lack of motivation -- may make it difficult to get started.

Many people find it easier to get motivated to exercise if they take things slowly at first, do activities that they like, and find ways to work more activity into their daily routine, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work. What works best in getting you motivated to exercise when you're depressed?

Ask a friend

I have recently been fighting with being depressed and not being able to get over the feeling of insecurity. I have been looking for a workout buddy so that everyday it is more of a social event then something I dread doing when I get down on myself. Also socializing boosts my confidence knowing that I have a friend to do it with me.
—Guest Sydney

Move Your Body.!

i love music and it helps me to be in good mood when i'm depressed.. plus it's good when added with steps..! so i dance with the music.. my favorite is Beyonce's Move your Body.. it's meant for exercising..
—Guest mojojo

pedemoters for depression

Hi just like to tell you i use to use the excuse the weather i to bad to go out in i'm from Ireland. But know i bought a Wii console and use the wii Fit every day for a hour and i can really see the changes and achievements as you get scored and placed, so get out their their you can be any age so enjoy it and i hope this helps.
—Guest tracey Holt

alternate exercise

About 10 yrs ago I was using a wheelchair. Someone recommended water aerobics. I loved it from the first minute I got in the water. Before long I no longer needed a chair and I was on my way to losing weight..with a change in eating habits. I couldn't walk for more than a few minutes at a time because of peripheral neuropathy. No I'm not diabetic. Within a few years (6 mo's taken off for surgery) I had not only put the chair in a corner but had lost 80 lbs. I had to quit the water aerobics because of changes in my life but I'm still trying to walk. I'm slowly but surely getting back to where I was, but I still walk some when my feet let me. There have been times when I barely made it back home, but now I pay attention to how my feet feel when I get up in the AM. I would love to be able to get back in the water, but there are no indoor pools here. But I still no longer need a therapist and I get down, but it never last more than a few hours. Walking isn't always an option.
—Guest leeny

a blog to help depression

even if its 6 minutes a day that's enough! When you have depression it is vital to run everyday! If possible 6 minutes before work, and 6 minutes after your last meal. At least 2 hours before bed. OF course you need motivation, and prayer can only help that.
—Guest Christine

getting motivated

When I exercise I feel better about myself. It makes the depression a little more bearable. Getting up and motivating yourself to do even little things can make you feel better. When the punds come off it is very rewarding. Trust me! It makes you feel better when you reach a weight loss goal or when you reach an exercise goal. Just remember not to take on too much exercise at once because then you'll feel bad if you can't reach your goal of exercising a certain length of time.
—Guest Ashleigh


I got a pedometer. It's been very helpful; just seeing those numbers increase, I get a greater sense of satisfaction than simply from walking. Also, if I'm especially active during my ordinary activities, I can see it and "get credit" for that too. I got the idea from reading about it in scientific studies, and have found it works for me. While all this walking may not satisfy absolutely all my fitness needs, it's a great place to start--truly easy and with immediate benefits. As someone with huge motivation difficulties, the fact that it works at all for me is a ray of light. The pedometer I bought is connected to a website that I also found very useful for calorie counting, keeping track of sleep, etc.
—Guest walker

Fighting Depression

Depression is a battle and you have to win the battle and take control. First executation and the internet is important and with that talking to professionals. Take time for yourself and meditate and take small walks and deep breaths to begin with. Go to a library just to get out and take out books or videos to keep you going. Finally see a professional medical doctor , go to group therapy sessions anything to help. Be careful who you talk to because a lot of people do not understand or feel it is an illness only deal with family and friends that will support you. Finally you have to take the action needed to overcome this illness and keep it under control and don't forget your medications.


What gets me motivated is knowing that I will feel better if I just get outside. Most of the time just starting to pull or trim grass out of the garden or flower bed starts a busy 3 hours because once started I continue to find things to do. Like the song says "one thing leads to another"

getting moving

I am going for a walk with my kids today and hubby - and dog - actually a dog helps alot as it makes you get out and take him for a walk - I also want to do the best I can for my condition -pitying oneself helps nothing
—Guest mandy


i got depression just recently and luckily, it is just mild but when the hard times hit...its beyond terrible. What i get myself to do is to run outside every evening around 7pm-ish. This is amazing for me in so many ways and gets my mind off of things that trigger anxiety attacks and depressive states. Just getting yourself outside is extremely beneficial...trust me.
—Guest jmc20
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  7. How to Get Motivated to Exercise When You're Depressed

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