Are you looking for exercises to help reduce anxiety and depression in your life?

Anxiety and depression are the most prevalent mental disorders in Australia. 

Despite the prevalence of these illnesses, exercise can be an effective way to help you cope with them and reduce their negative impact on your life.

Read on to learn the eight best exercises to combat anxiety and depression!


1. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu may be a physical related art, but it goes beyond that. The focus is also on the mind, which many people who suffer from anxiety have issues controlling. With anxiety disorders, a common symptom is having racing thoughts, or anxious thoughts, especially about the future. It can be difficult to relax and feel stress-free with so much going on in your mind.

With Jiu-Jitsu, one of their practices is to train your mind to focus on the present rather than the future. You are told to empty out your thoughts completely to have better control. At the same time, your focus is zeroed in completely on your “opponent” so you can think about other things. The redirection is very much needed for those who can’t seem to keep gain control on their thoughts. Having this sort of stability is very beneficial for those who suffer from anxiety and in many cases can be the first step to healing.

2. Running

Running is a great way to clear your mind while reducing stress. These two attributes can help you reduce anxiety and depression.

While more than 550,000 people in marathons each year, you don’t have to run that far to receive the positive benefits of this form of exercise. Running is a great way for you to break away from your daily routine while you focus on yourself.

3. Yoga

Yoga is a form of exercise that’s become a popular way for people to combine working out with controlled breathing.

A yoga routine combines meditation with core exercises to help you improve your mental and physical health. Another unique aspect of yoga is that you can choose to do it on your own or in a group setting.

4. Hiking

Hiking in the woods is a great way to break free from the daily grind while becoming one with nature.

Being in the woods helps to separate you from the hustle and bustle of your life and puts you in a calm and serene setting. Depending on where you live, hiking can be a challenge because of elevation gain and other weather elements.

The peace and quiet of the woods can create the perfect setting for you to unwind and enjoy nature while you exercise. Like other forms of exercise, hiking increases blood flow to your brain and muscles which can emit endorphins to help you feel good!

5. Weightlifting

Sometimes depression can be caused by unwanted weight gain through the natural aging process or by a traumatic event in your life. Lifting weights will give you a physical challenge while also helping you release anger or other aggression below the surface.

This can be especially helpful after a long and stressful day at home or in the office.

6. Take Long Walks

A long walk is a great way to clear your mind while improving your physical health.

Walking  10,000 steps each day is a great goal to set for yourself each day. Sometimes, people may find excuses for why they don’t reach their walking goals each day. These often include being “too busy” with work, school, or family.

Don’t sacrifice your mental well-being by making excuses for yourself. 

7. Swimming

Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise and something that can be one of your best weapons against depression and anxiety symptoms. Swimming forces you to breathe deeper while also using all kinds of muscles—both small and large—that you may not use on a regular basis outside of the water.

Unlike running, which can take its toll on your knees and ankles because you are on a hard surface, the water in a pool creates resistance while also moving with your muscles.

8. Dancing

Dancing may not be the first exercise that comes to mind when thinking of ways to fight depression and anxiety, but you can’t afford to overlook its health benefits.

There are many different forms of dance, and some of the faster-paced dances can be a great physical workout. Besides being an aerobic exercise, dancing is also a lot of fun. You can do it with a partner or in a group setting while also enjoying some of your favorite songs.


Wrapping Up: Fight Your Anxiety and Depression!! 

It’s important to remember that there are millions of other people in the world suffering from this same condition. Exercise is one way for you to improve your mental health while also maintaining your physical condition and well-being.


In many cases, people use medication to help treat anxiety, but there are those who treat the disorder in other ways without the use of prescription medication. Many have reported that using techniques such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has actually helped them and some even claim that it got rid of their anxiety completely. If you are trying to find relief from your anxiety symptoms through more physical means, you might want to give Brazilian Jiu Jitsu a try. The results may surprise you.


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