Depression after workout?(5 coping tips)

From the article below, we will be understanding the topic, “depression after workout”. 

From the topic you will know what depression is and how you can deal with it if you are suffering from post-depression workout. 

Are you getting depressed after workout?

Symptoms of depression can be reduced with the help of incorporating physical activity into one’s routine. But excessive workout can also make you suffer from post-workout depression.

What is depression?

Depression is a mood disorder which characterizes feelings of excessive “blue”. According to the DSM 5 at least 5 of the following symptoms have to have been present during the same 2-week period (and at least 1 of the symptoms must be diminished interest/pleasure or depressed mood) :

  • Depressed mood: For children and adolescents, this can also be an irritable mood
  • Diminished interest or loss of pleasure in almost all activities (anhedonia)
  • Significant weight change or appetite disturbance: For children, this can be failure to achieve expected weight gain
  • Sleep disturbance (insomnia or hypersomnia)
  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate; indecisiveness
  • Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or specific plan for committing suicide

How to deal with post workout depression?

Don’t overdo

Side effects of over exercise :

  • Being unable to perform at the same level

Overdoing exercise, may cause a physical burnout thus making you inefficient the next day. You may not be able to move out of your bed. 

  • Needing longer periods of rest

You will feel a prolonged period of fatigue due to over exercise.

  • Feeling tired

With fatigue you will feel tired and exhausted

  • Being depressed

Depression is a major side effect of overdoing exercise. You may feel hopeless and worthless after too much exercise.

  • Having mood swings or irritability

Due to hormonal imbalances, one may also experience mood swings or irritability due to exercise. You may not feel good and feel grumpy all day. You may also have fights with people around you because of frequent anger outbursts.

  • Having trouble sleeping

Your sleep may be hindered.

  • Feeling sore muscles or heavy limbs

Sore muscle and heavy limbs are worse symptoms of overdoing exercise

  • Losing motivation

You may become anhedonic. Anhedonia is a symptom of depression which makes a person feel less motivated. The two main types of anhedonia are social and physical anhedonia.

Social anhedonia is a disinterest towards social contact and a lack of motivation in being a part of social situations. 

Physical anhedonia is an inability to feel tactile pleasures such as eating, touching, or sex.

The symptoms of anhedonia include: social withdrawal, a lack of relationships or withdrawal from previous relationships, negative feelings toward yourself and others, reduced emotional abilities, including having less verbal or nonverbal expressions, difficulty adjusting to social situations, a tendency toward showing fake emotions, such as pretending you’re happy at a wedding, a loss of libido or a lack of interest in physical intimacy, persistent physical problems, such as being sick often

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

  • Getting more colds

You may become vulnerable to viruses thus get colds and fever.

  • Feeling anxiety

Anxiety is characterized by excessive worry, irritability and impaired concentration.

  • Muscle tear

Strength exercises cause micro tears (from mechanical shear stress) in your muscle, and of course this can result in an inflammatory response. Strength exercises build strength through these micro tears and, after healing, your muscles rebuild and gain strength — but each workout does result in these micro tears.

If you are obsessed with workout, always remember everything has to be done in limit. Our body needs exercise but too much of it can make us exhausted and feel depressed after doing it. 

Maintain a good diet 

 And when you endure rigorous activities your body produces cortisol “Cortisol helps us deal with stress by shutting down unnecessary functions, like reproduction and the immune system, in order to allow the body to direct all energies toward dealing with the stress at hand. These functions of cortisol are supposed to be short-lived, just long enough to deal with the offending stressor. However, our modern lives are anything but stress free and when stress is chronic this becomes a problem.” Your body is clearly fatigued and you’re not doing anything to feed it. You’re basically destroying yourself.

Eating a good amount and eating healthy are two major changes you can incorporate to get rid of post-workout depression.

Ditch Unrealistic Expectations

Sometimes, people feel depressed after exercise when they set expectations that are too high or impossible to achieve. Perhaps your feelings of depression are stemming from a heavy mental burden of unrealistic expectations.

Flexible exercise

Using the correct exercise technique known as ‘flexible exercise’. Using short moderate intensity workouts (around 10-30 minutes long). This increases cortisol, as all exercise does, but, and this is a big ‘but’, only momentary increase. As it’s a short burst at the correct intensity, it doesn’t over stress an already stressed body. Once the body quickly recovers, your cortisol levels actually decrease as your body is becoming more efficient at dealing with the stress exercise causes. This type of exercise is known as ‘flexible exercise’.

Your workout doesn’t match your personality

“Finding an exercise that works for you is important, whether it’s low- or high-impact classes or a combination of both,” Niels Eek, a psychologist and co-founder of personal development app Remente explains. “Some people prefer to get me-time while exercising, because doing things alone allows for reflection and there’s no direct social pressure. For others, exercising by themselves can make them feel lonely. It’s easier to feel motivated when other people are involved, and they can provide motivation.”

“I’d advise trying different workouts to find out what suits you best,” Eek says. “It might even differ from week to week.” Eventually, you should find out what gives you the best exercise buzz. There really is something out there for everyone.

You’re comparing yourself to others

Are you self-conscious about your body? Everytime you look at yourself in the mirror, do you think your shape is not good enough?

Research from Marquette University in Canada has revealed that concerns about body image can stop us wanting to work out, and if you feel insecure about your body, an hour surrounded by those who are further along in their fitness journey can be intimidating.

“All of us feel unhappy with the way we look at some point, and these thoughts are normal when they’re only fleeting, and they can be worked on,” Eek says. “But if they’re uncontrollable, you could have body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), which prevents you from seeing yourself as you are.

“A BDD diagnosis can be treated with cognitive behavioural therapy, during which a therapist can introduce you to coping techniques and methods.”

“Make a rule to not check the mirror more than three times while at the gym, and don’t step on the scales more than once a week,” Eek advice.

Depression can be caused due to something else other than workout

“If you notice that exercising isn’t helping you and you suspect your bad mood is due to factors other than exercise, I’d advise you to seek professional help,” Eek says. “It’s always better to be proactive than reactive and seek help in time.”

Depression can be caused due to multiple factors other than exercise. Your worries may be overwhelming to you. It can make you feel so terrible that your workout routine may not help you through the symptoms of depression. 

In these cases seek out help from a psychologist or psychiatrist for therapy. A health-care professional who is specialized in  treating compulsive exercise or eating disorders will provide you with various therapies such as Cognitive-behavioral therapy(CBT), antidepressant medicines and support groups.


From the article above, you have understood the topic, “ depression after workout’. The topic focuses on what are the symptoms of depression; how to cope with depression after a workout. 

FAQs: Depression after workout

Can working out make you sad?

Depression or irritability can be unwanted side effects of working out too much. 

Can over exercise cause depression?

Too much exercise can lead to injuries, exhaustion, depression, and suicide. 

Why do I get emotional after working out?

“Exercise can stimulate neurotransmitter activity in the brain, which may lead to increased emotional intensity,” says Jennifer Carter.

Can no exercise cause depression?

Researchers found that sleep problems, a lack of energy, and physical inactivity may lead to a depressed mood and mood changes.

Why don’t you feel good after working out?


Pushing yourself harder than you’re ready for can result in a number of problems, including strains, sprains, and generally not feeling well.

Is it bad to cry a lot?

Crying more than is normal for you may be a symptom of depression or a neurological disorder.

Can you burn calories from crying?

Crying is thought to burn roughly the same amount of calories as laughing – 1.3 calories per minute, according to one study .

Is it healthy to cry?

According to Frey, “Crying is not only a human response to sorrow and frustration, it’s also a healthy one.”

should I apologize for crying at work?

People are often told they shouldn’t cry at work. But crying is a normal biological response to stress, frustration, or sadness.

What are the 5 signs of mental illness?

  • Excessive paranoia, worry, or anxiety.
  • Long-lasting sadness or irritability.
  • Extreme changes in moods.
  • Social withdrawal.
  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping patterns.

What to do if someone cries in front of you?

  • “Witness” their feelings. 
  • Affirm that their feelings make sense. 
  • Show the person you understand their feelings, and facilitate the deepening of his or her own understanding of them. 
  • Don’t minimize their pain or try to cheer them up. 
  • Offer physical affection if appropriate. 
  • Suggest action steps.

What are the  types of mental disorders?

  • Anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and phobias.
  • Depression, bipolar disorder, and other mood disorders.
  • Eating disorders.
  • Personality disorders.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia.

What are the major causes of depression?

  • Abuse. Past physical, sexual, or emotional abuse can increase the vulnerability to clinical depression later in life.
  • Certain medications.
  • Conflict.
  • Death or a loss.
  • Genetics. 
  • Major events
  • Other personal problems.
  • Serious illnesses.

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