Tips for Exercise Success!

Mental Health Benefits

Dress Appropriately

  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing
  • Wear sturdy shoes designed for gym use


Set Goals

  • Create realistic weekly or monthly goals for yourself and write them down
  • Reward yourself when these goals are met!


Switch It Up

  • Sign up for a 5K to benefit a charity
  • Go for a hike
  • Try out a fitness class, such as kickboxing or Zumba


Stick To It

  • Get a partner and hold each other accountable!
  • Start off easy and work up to more weight and/or more reps!
  • Don't discourage yourself
  • A study included students in an undergraduate university in the UK to measure physical activity and mental health.
    • Results concluded that physical activity can definitely be a contributing factor to better mental health in the student population.
    • Statistics showed that when you increase physical activity, you have better mental health. This can be accomplished by doing physical activity 2-4 hours per week.
  • Physical activity has been reported to increase mental health more abundantly than a less active lifestyle.
    • A study was performed to determine how much physical activity is optimal for better mental health via a survey through telephone or mail.
      • Results showed that physical activity does improve mental health but there is no optimal level.

Statistics About Exercise and Depression



  • Expending 1000-2499 kcal per week=17% less likely to develop depression
  • Expending 2500 kcal per week=28% less likely to develop depression

·         0.53 to -1.42 in the reduction of depression scores across different training programs

·          A 16 week training program was proven to be just as effective as antidepressant medication

·         Depression symptoms were reduced by over 50%

Studies About Exercise and Alleviating Depression

  • STUDY 1:  By Fabien Legrand and Jean Philippe Heuze from the University of Reims and Joshep Fourier University, respectively

           ~Examined the effects of an eight-week aerobic training                     program on depression. 

           ~Process: 25 participants divided into three groups.

                Group 1: exercised 30 minutes a day once a week.

                Group 2: exercised 30 minutes a day 3-5 times a week.

                Group 3: was similar to the 2nd group except they had

                social interaction.

         ~Results: greater decrease in depression in the second and third group than the first. The second and third group showed not much of a difference between the two. Consistency was the key to lowering depression.

  • STUDY 2: Study by Knubben, Reischies, Adli, Schalttmann, Bauer, and Dimeo from Berlin, Germany

          ~examined the effects of exercise on people currently diagnosed with major depression.

        ~ 39 patients at a university hospital being treated for major depression were studied over a 10-day period, divided into 2 groups.

              Group 1: Walking 30 minutes a day on a treadmill with                            the incline steadily increasing.

              Group 2: placebo group, 30 minutes of light stretching

         ~Results: Endurance training reduced depression levels far more than light stretching.  The placebo group showed little signs of reduced depression.

  • OVERALL: exercise decreases depression and alleviates symptoms more quickly than medication