Fitness isn’t just about looking good for the summer; it’s also about feeling well, positive and happy. You may not think that all those times you felt sweating it out on the treadmill or pushing yourself to the limit for that one extra rep could actually benefit your mental happiness in the long run but science says otherwise.
A study from 2003 examined the quality of life among breast cancer survivors after being subjected to exercise. They wanted to see whether improving their health with fitness could make them feel happier and improve their hormonal profile after completing surgery, radiotherapy, and/or chemotherapy with or without hormonetherapy use.
The study took 53 postmenopausal breast cancer survivors and randomly assigned them exercise on cycle ergometers three times per week for 15 weeks or continuing their normal lifestyle of zero exercise.
The results clearly showed that ‘exercise training had beneficial effects on quality of life’ meaning that each participant who was in the exercise group felt happier at the end of the study.
It’s important to realise that your mental health is as important as your physical health. Luckily enough, exercise benefits both of these aspects of your life. Just look at some benefits exercise can give you that you may not have thought about:
• Reduced stress
• A greater feeling of happiness
• Endorphin boost
• Increased self confidence
• Decreased risk of Alzheimer’s and other cognitive diseases
• Reduced anxiety
• Increased brain power
• Improved memory
• Better sleep
• More relaxed in your down periods
A review from 1999 of various literature surrounding mental health and exercise even found that it can be an extremely useful tool to treat depression, anxiety and overall mental well-being.
If you want to find out how happy you can be with fitness then try out one of our low-impact classes such as pilates and pioga. We have classes designed for all types of people so make sure to find the one that suits you.