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.

Also in Reforge Yourself

Exercise For Mood & Anxiety Brief Book Review
Exercise For Mood & Anxiety Brief Book Review

by Tony Gjokaj January 18, 2022 3 min read

A few months back, I listened to a podcast with a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist who was talking about the importance of exercise and depression.

As I own a fitness brand dedicated to helping people exercise out of depression, I was instantly drawn into the title of the episode.

In it, the speaker mentioned his book.

I picked it up.

I read it.


I wanted to share it with you all today because I am rereading it for a second time.

Read More
7 Bad Habits That Can Affect Your Mental Health In 2022
7 Bad Habits That Can Affect Your Mental Health In 2022

by Tony Gjokaj January 10, 2022 5 min read

As we continue our way into 2022, one thing that can set us back from reaching our goals are our habits.

Some of us have habits that help facilitate all aspects of our health: mental, physical, and even existential.

Other habits can forestall or neglect those aspects of our health.

So in this post, we are going to go over 7 bad habits that can affect your mental health this year.

Let's dive in!

Read More
5 Reasons Why Most People Fail Their New Years Resolutions
5 Reasons Why Most People Fail Their New Years Resolutions

by Tony Gjokaj January 03, 2022 5 min read

Welcome to 2022.

A new year of possibilities and opportunities.

A new year of improving our mental health and wellbeing.

We all want to make some big changes in our lives and are completely excited about it... but sometimes, it's only a matter of time until some setback happens.

And some of us quit when it gets tough.

Do you ever wonder why some of our New Years Resolutions fail?

There are a few reasons.

In this post, we are going to cover 5 reasons why most people fail their New Years Resolutions.

Let's dive in!

Read More