5 Ways Exercise Can Improve Your Mental Health

On the journey to recovery, cancer survivors come to Survivor Fitness because they want to improve their physical health. What we often see, though, is that when our participants are moving their bodies, they also see mental health benefits along the way. Here are a few research-backed ways that taking care of your body can benefit your mind.

1. Improved Sleep

Though scientists aren’t certain of the “why” when it comes to exercise improving our sleep, researchers at Johns Hopkins assert that moving our bodies increases the amount of slow-wave sleep that we get during the night. Slow-wave sleep is the deep sleep that our bodies need to recover from our day’s activities. When exercising with the goal of improving sleep, ensure that you finish one to two hours before you plan to sleep, as your body will be energized and need time to wind down. 

2. Reduced Stress

Have you ever noticed that you feel more mellow after a workout? Or, even after a walk around the block? According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise increases your brain’s production of endorphins, which can improve your stress response and reduce mild anxiety and depression symptoms. Moving your body is also a wonderful way to process your day’s worry, allowing your brain to slow down, focusing on the movement, and providing yourself with an outlet. According to the American Institute of Stress, 49% of Americans find that exercise is a stress-reducing activity. 

3. Increased Confidence

As you begin to see positive improvements in your body’s range of motion, strength, and energy, you might also see a boost in your self-confidence. Exercise helps you to reach your goals and build on your confidence in what your body is capable of, providing you with an opportunity to take control of your health. 

4. Boosted Overall Mood

Physical activity provides a multitude of benefits that can all add up to improve your mood! With a release of endorphins, a reduction in stress, a boost in confidence, and other positive effects, you will likely find yourself feeling consistently happier with a regular exercise routine. 

5. Increased Energy Levels

A body in motion stays in motion! The more you move, the more energy you’ll likely have. This is the result of increased oxygen and nutrients getting to your tissues. As your muscles get what they need, your cardiovascular system works more efficiently, which boosts your overall endurance to tackle your daily activities. 

Looking to Improve Your Mental and Physical Health?

We want to help! Survivor Fitness works with cancer survivors to help them regain their health and wellness through one-on-one personal training and nutritional support. We walk alongside you to progress your post-treatment recovery, empowering you to take control of your healing journey. Connect with us today to learn more!