Effects and therapeutic effect of sport on depression friedenweiler clinic

Sports& Depression – effects, effects and forms of therapyDepression is one of the most common mental illnesses in Germany. Statistically, every fifth person suffers at least once in the course of his or her life a depressive episode with an illness value.

People with depression suffer from inner emptiness, a strong lack of drive, negative thoughts and emotions. Withdrawal from social contacts occurs, interest in activities and hobbies is lost. The development of depression also leads to a noticeable decrease in sporting activities – the bicycle remains in the cellar, the running shoes on the shelf and visits to the gym become an effort that cannot be overcome.

But precisely what is so difficult in depression – overcoming the need to take up sporting activities – can help to get a better grip on the illness. In recent years, sport and exercise have taken on a steadily increasing role in depression treatment and prevention.

Why sport is so important in the treatment of depression?

Effects and therapy of sport in depression friedenweiler clinic

You or a person in your close environment suffers from depression? Then contact us now. Inform yourself about possible forms of therapy.

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Preventive care and therapeutic effect on the recovery from depression

If you exercise regularly, you can significantly reduce the risk of developing depression. The preventive benefits of sport have been demonstrated in numerous scientific studies. In these studies it became clear that there is a positive effect even with minor physical activity. It doesn't have to be a competitive sport, much more important is the regularity of the units. Just one hour of exercise per week can significantly reduce the risk of depression.

But the positive impact of sport goes beyond preventive benefits. Because even in the acute phase of a depressive episode, physical activity can lead to an improvement in symptoms and thus contribute to recovery. Therefore, in the treatment of depression in an inpatient setting, sports and body therapies are standard as a complement to psychotherapeutic and medicinal procedures.

Even though it usually takes a certain amount of effort for those affected at first, they regularly report a brightening of their mood, more energy, and increased entrepreneurial spirit after exercise. The daily structure normalizes, the body feeling improves and sleep disorders are positively influenced.

If performed regularly, the sporting sessions can help to combat the listlessness that many sufferers experience and thus break the vicious circle of depression. Many people only clear their heads when they do sports. Can let go of negative thoughts. Sports thus offer the possibility of distraction from brooding loops and negative spirals of thought. It can also be helpful to join a sports group and train together.

Increasing self-esteem

Sport can also increase a person's self-esteem. Depressive patients suffer from a disturbance of the vital feelings, i.e. an impairment of the perceived vitality and energy of their own body. The resumption of physical activity improves body image, confidence in one's own body and self-esteem.

Sport keeps you physically and mentally fit

Regular sport not only keeps you physically fit, but also mentally and emotionally healthy. mentally fit in the long term. Physical activity ensures that mental skills, such as z.B. Critical thinking, good judgment and new learning are maintained.

Better sleep due to exercise

Sports and other physical activities ensure that sleep quality is significantly improved. People who exercise regularly have a better and deeper sleep and can also fall asleep faster and easier than people who do not exercise. People who have a good quality of sleep benefit from a more positive mood, better daily structure and drive.

Four sports against depression


Jogging is one of the sports that can help alleviate the symptoms of depression, as it has many positive effects on health and the psyche. Running several times a week alone can bring about a lasting change, as messenger substances such as serotonin and norepinephrine are increasingly released. This effect can already be observed during the running session, but it also has an effect that goes beyond that.

Once the person suffering from depression is able to overcome the drive disorder and engage in sports, their self-esteem also strengthens, as an active strategy for dealing with the depression has been chosen and implemented.

Yoga has been shown to significantly reduce stress and anxiety in many scientific studies. Especially in the treatment of depression yoga has proven to be extremely effective. There are many types of yoga, some of them very different, which focus very differently on mental concentration, physical exercises and positions or breathing exercises. What they all have in common is that they have a calming and balancing effect and promote mindfulness.

Experience here more about Yoga as an accompanying form of therapy for mental illnesses.


Cycling as an endurance sport also helps to alleviate the symptoms of depression or prevent its recurrence. Again, consistent exercise is more important than peak stress levels. As with jogging, neurotransmitters are released that have a positive effect on both mental and physical sensations. In particular, constant continuous stress on the cardiovascular system has been shown to help. Already after approx. 30 minutes of cycling makes body feeling and mood more positive. The best way is cycling in nature.


Therapeutic archery is more than just a sport that can help alleviate the symptoms of depression. Archery means conscious tension and posture, endurance and concentration, but also blocking out disturbing factors and focusing on the essentials, as well as conscious letting go.

People suffering from depression suffer from disturbing negative thoughts, inner restlessness and have difficulty concentrating. In archery, depressed patients experience controlled tension and release and learn to better control the opposites of tension and relaxation as well as holding on and letting go. It also trains intuitive elements, such as sensing the "right moment" .

It is also essential that therapeutic archery be fun in addition to therapeutically beneficial! New skills are discovered. Self-esteem boosted.

Learn here more about therapeutic archery.

The type of sport that is best suited and most effective depends on individual needs and resources. However, it is said that sufferers should exercise at least three times a week for 30 minutes over eight weeks. It is not about peak loads, but about continuous training, even with initially very short and light training sessions.

It is important, especially in the initial phase, that physical exertion is increased only cautiously, since many depressed people have lost a healthy sense of their body's performance limits and tend to overexert themselves, especially at the first successes, and have an increased risk of injury. Especially in clinics that specialize in the treatment of depression, the development of an individual exercise program therefore takes place under the guidance of body therapists until a good body awareness and knowledge of one's own resilience and limits is established. Conclusion: How can I use sport as a therapy support?. Use preventive measures?Sport and exercise protect us from developing depression, but they also help us to come out of a depressive episode. More important than the intensity and duration of the sporting activity is the regularity of its use. In general, a little exercise is better than none at all, which means that trite everyday advice is also professionally justified in relation to depression – it is better to take the stairs than the elevator, leave the car at home and ride a bicycle instead.

Any sport that goes beyond everyday exercise is recommended – the choice of sport is not the main ie, as long as physical exertion is required. It should only be ensured that no too high demands are placed on oneself, because too much prere to perform again represents a stress factor. Also, people who start exercising again out of depression should start slowly, as they often don't feel as good about their bodies as they used to, and with physical overload comes an increased risk of injury.

In summary, sport is a resource that is quite easily accessible to most people, which has a great effect in the prevention and acute treatment of depression and can quite concretely reduce the need for medication.

Sports and physical therapy are appropriate complementary therapies that can supplement and enhance psychotherapy and pharmacological approaches. Run away from depression, hike and climb out of the dark valley, and find supportive partners in sports!

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