Exercise Improves Mood (couldn’t we all use a little of that sometime?)

As many of you know, fitness is a second career for me. I got into this because of my experience with exercise and cancer. (about Julie) When I exercised all during treatment I felt better – had less nausea, fewer headaches, more energy, etc. Exercise also boosted my mood; I was less anxious, and generally calmer and happier (all good things when fighting cancer). I started Life-Cise because I believed others could benefit from what I had discovered.

While I started this because of potential improvements in quality of life, it now is evident that exercise can also improve treatment (see studies by Courneya, et al; and Mastro) and outcomes (see Nurses Study – breast cancer; and Irwin HEAL study; among others).

But now, let’s go back to quality of life. Exercise improves mood – this is well-documented. But a new study presented this last week at the American College of Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting in Seattle shows that the mood-boost from moderate exercise may last much longer than previously thought. The study found benefits to mood for up to 12 hours for the exercise group compared with the resting group.

According to lead author Jeremy Sibold, ED.D., ATC, “These positive effects on mood occurred in all types of participants, regardless of age, gender, or fitness level.”

People facing cancer often experience anxiety, stress, worry, and depression (duh…right?) Well, exercise can be a really useful tool in managing those feelings. And it’s totally in your control.

Nobody’s saying you have to go run 10K or bench press 200lbs. Do an appropriate amount of exercise for you. For some of you, that might be running 10K, but for some it could be simply walking to the mailbox. Just get some exercise most days – you will feel better!


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