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How Exercise and Better Eating Can Help With Depression

Focusing on your physical health can work wonders for your mental health. You may ask yourself how your body’s and mind’s health are related. We know that exercise and healthy eating are great for your body, but how do physical changes affect your mental health? 

Activities like working out, walking, lifting weights, or swimming has many benefits. These activities stretch your muscles, which increases flexibility and releases fat cells, which reduces body weight. Exercise has also been shown to help prevent various diseases and illnesses like cancer or type 2 diabetes. 

If you’re not sold yet, the benefits go on. Exercise can help improve a person’s overall mental health. Incorporating exercise in mental health and addiction treatment can lower depression levels and prevent future depression. Participating in any form of physical activity sparks a chemical reaction in the body where hormones called endorphins are released.

Exercise and Endorphins

As defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), endorphins are a kind of peptide, a small protein made in the body for pain relief that also creates feelings of well-being. Endorphins work by attaching themselves to opioid receptors in the brain, which causes their pleasurable effects.

Considered to be neurotransmitters, endorphins are known as one of the body’s feel-good chemicals. The term “endorphin” stems from “endogenous morphine.” The word “endogenous” means that something comes from within. In this case, from inside our bodies. “Morphine” was selected due to the opioid painkiller that endorphins mimic the effects of. 

Endorphins are released in the body through physical activity. Such activities can even include laughter and sunlight exposure. The best way to take advantage of this feel-good effect, however, is found in exercise. Any exercise will do, but low-intensity exercise sustained over time is the best way to experience the effects.

Walking is an excellent example of this type of activity. This could be done in your neighborhood, at the local park, or even on the treadmill at a nearby gym. It is a simple and great exercise without too much strain or effort. Walking can improve not only your mental health but your physical health too.

The Effects of Eating Habits on Depression

When incorporating a diet full of healthy, nutrient-rich foods, many benefits follow. Significant boosts in mood and overall health are just some of these benefits. Studies have even found that certain nutrients are lacking in individuals that face depression. To add to this, certain data has shown that many people experience a decrease in depressive symptoms due to certain changes in diet. What you eat plays a significant role in mental health. Many great foods can aid in decreasing depression. 

Fresh Foods

A diet filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and lean protein, such as fish and yogurt, is optimal for improving depression. It is also important to avoid foods that negatively impact mental health. 

Alcohol and fatty foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients can increase the risk of depression and depressive symptoms. Additionally, processed foods and excessive caffeine intake can have a similar effect. Aim for colorful and more natural, unprocessed meals. 

Treatment for Depression

The mental health benefits of diet and exercise are innumerable. However, in many cases, people need more help than these can provide. Treatment is an effective and healthy way to overcome depression. Adding treatment will help boost the positive effects of diet and exercise.

A combination of treatment and healthy lifestyle choices creates a recipe for better mental health. The right facility can help you throughout the process and provide you with an ideal treatment plan that serves your needs and lifestyle. This process involves a few easy steps before you’re on your way to wellness.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Before you enter treatment, a diagnosis and an assessment are vital. When this is complete, your next step will be creating a treatment plan. At Malibu Wellness Ranch, we believe treatment is not a one-size-fits-all and include a mixture of conventional and holistic therapies to create a well-rounded regimen. Such a treatment plan will help cultivate structure in your daily life and help you develop the skills necessary to overcome real-world challenges. 

As you progress through the treatment process, professionals, peers, and family will provide guidance and motivation to ensure you stick with your wellness plan. 

Tools Gained in Treatment

Seeking treatment provides you with the right tools and guidance to begin your wellness journey toward a depression-free and happier life. The future doesn’t have to include the dark days that depression brings. Instead, with some help, the future can be a life that you deserve to enjoy, full of joy and wellness. Don’t let your mental health drag you down. Reach out for help, keep up the exercise, and continue your healthy diet. 


When you struggle with mental health, you may feel like life will always be this way. Depression can overtake you and steal your hope. At Malibu Wellness Ranch, we understand the challenges you face, and we need you to know that your future is bright for us. A significantly more optimistic and happier version of you is within reach. Reaching out for help in your depression is a courageous step that not everyone is willing to take. We are so very proud of you and this decision. The world is about to get so much brighter for you. At Malibu Wellness Ranch, we can be the hope you need to get through this. Call us today at (800) 862-5428