by Tony Gjokaj August 23, 2021 2 min read

Over 10 years ago, I was overweight, depressed, and sleep deprived.

Throughout middle school and high school, I was regularly bullied due to the fact that I had zero self confidence in myself.

This led me to isolate myself from others, which led me down a path where I contemplated suicide.

It was not until I vented my frustration to my mother that she told me to "do something about it".

We started working out together.

At first, I absolutely hated it. Then I started not only experiencing physical changes, but mental ones as well.

I ate better, I slept better, I felt better, I thought better.

Physical activity not only improved my physical health, but my mental health as well.

Fitness saved my life.

Sad to Happy


Based on my story, you might notice a few things.

For starters, people with depressive symptoms typically isolate themselves from people. People with depressive symptoms also tend to be more physically inactive.

But in adding exercise to your regiment, you may notice some improvements.

According to a recent study done in 2021, exercise not only reduced depressive symptoms but also improves the brain’s ability to react and change.

Adding to that, in clinical studies, participation in aerobic exercise can potentially be a holistic way to “anti-depress”.

 This means that we believe it’s important to consider or add a holistic approach to handling mental health.

In fact, peer review surveys have shown that depressed people have reported exercise is typically their preferred treatment option.

It is important to consider that not everyone has similar challenges with depression, however. 
You should always speak to a doctor or mental health specialist for your individual best options.

Exercise To "Anti-Depress"

Exercise can aid in improving wellbeing through the following:

  • Improves sleep. Exercise can improve the time it takes for you to fall asleep AND also improves sleep quality.
  • Increases energy. Consistent exercise can improve energy and reduce fatigue.
  • Reduces stress. Working out can help you distract yourself from daily stressors.
  • Improved self-esteem. You will not only look better, but feel better.

How You Can Start

If you haven't started working out yet, Science Direct recommends exercising moderately for 30 minutes every day. You can split these up into 15 minute increments per day if you're on a time constraint.

You can consider doing a total of 3.5 hours of exercise weekly, which can equate to 3-5 days per week.

What kind of exercise should you do? Break a sweat and do what you like.

To conclude, we want you to remember that not everyone has similar depressive symptoms. This is just another reminder to discuss all options with doctors or mental health specialists to discover what works best for you.

While exercise is my therapy, it is different for everyone. It is my hope, however, that you implement what is recommended if you do not already.

As depression is correlated to a sedentary lifestyle and isolation, we recommend getting your ass up and putting in that work.

If you have any questions, comments, or recommendations for exercise methods, feel free to email us at, or direct message us on Instagram.

Until next time, Reforged Legion!

Tony Gjokaj
Tony Gjokaj

Tony is the Owner of Reforged Performance Nutrition. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help bridge the gap between physical & mental health through fitness.

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7 Ways To Get Off The Couch & Exercise When You Are Depressed
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by Tony Gjokaj September 17, 2021 5 min read

When you're depressed, even when you're not expending a lot of energy... you don't feel like you have any energy to spare to begin with.

It can be aggravating to hear that you need to work out to boost your endorphins, (or whatever your friends say to you).

In reality, they aren't wrong... but how can you exercise if you can't even get out of bed?

Is there something wrong with us?

Absolutely not. This happens with depression.

The thing with depression is that your whole body may feel like it is against you... and it's very frustrating.

I've been there.

But I was forced to work out once I committed to it because of an accountability partner I had.

In this post, we are going to go over some ways that may help you get off the couch when your mind & body are against you.

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How Hydration Is Essential To Mental Health... And 4 Tips to Improve Hydration!

by Tony Gjokaj September 13, 2021 2 min read

Hydration is paramount to your health and wellbeing.

When I worked my previous management job, I ran three rental car branches simultaneously at a time where one of the other managers was gone for over a month.

I would try to get my water in regularly, but the locations were incredibly busy. You would always find me at the front desk with customers swarming in.

This played a large part in my stress and I never knew it did until I found a way to actually get drink more water.

In this short post, we are going to go over why hydration is essential for mental health.

Let's dive in!

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The Inactivity Trap: Where Depression and Physical Inactivity Collide
The Inactivity Trap: Where Depression and Physical Inactivity Collide

by Tony Gjokaj September 08, 2021 3 min read

When I was overweight, I was inactive, depressed, and had insomnia.

I would isolate myself from social interaction, which led me down a dark path where I contemplated suicide.

Eventually, fitness was my salvation, as physical activity led to me sleeping better, eating better, feeling better, and thinking better.

Prior to exercise, I was stuck in what was deemed an Inactivity Trap.

So in this post, we are going to go over an article that was written in 2009 with the same name, called "The Inactivity Trap". This article included studies that supported their claims from a psychological standpoint which intrigued me as well.

So let's dive into what the Inactivity Trap is.

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