Cancer & Exercise

The effects of EXERCISE on both prevention and treatment of cancer cannot be under estimated and must be heeded for effective treatment.

Surprisingly few oncologists ever tell their patients to engage in exercise beyond their simple daily, normal activities, and many cancer patients are reluctant to exercise, or even discuss it with their oncologist. Hopefully, you will not be one of them!

“Cancer patients would be shocked if they knew just how much of a benefit physical activity could have on their recovery and long term health, in some cases reducing their chances of having to go through the grueling ordeal of treatment all over again…”1

Physical activity can be an important part of your recovery after and even during cancer treatment.

During treatment, even just spending less time sitting down and taking short walks can help. Being active has many benefits and can help to:

  1. reduce tiredness and some treatment side effects
  2. reduce anxiety and depression
  3. improve your mood and quality of life
  4. strengthen your muscles, joints and bones
  5. strengthen and tone your heart and reduce the risk of other health problems.

Research has time and again stressed how effective that exercise such as walking relieves depression and emotional support is enough of a reward but the health benefits are also conclusive.  Exercise…every single day!  You will be so glad you did!

Listen to your body and take time to rest if needed. Just a few minutes a day is better than not exercising at all; when your stamina increases you’ll be able to complete more challenging workouts with each day. Exercise will ultimately help to boost your immune system, so it’s very important to continue with your program, even if you suffer from cancer.

1. Add to what you’re already doing. 

Adding extra steps or taking the long way counts as additional exercise. Rather than carrying several items upstairs in one trip, like groceries, make individual trips to burn more caloriesFor weight loss, make sure to increase the intensity of your tasks. Increase heart rate and breathing. If you’re doing a moderate intensity activity, you should be able to talk, but not sing.

2. Make sure it’s challenging.

You have to challenge yourself if you want to see changes.

If you take the stairs twice a day one week, try taking them four times a day the following week.

Do more than you’re doing now to see a change.

3. Keep building. 

Once you’ve added more activity in your day, keep adding more and try new exercises.

That walk across the parking lot can become a walk across the neighborhood.

The more you put out, the more you get back. It really is all about moving more.

Take some music with you or a friend; make it fun!  Your mood will improve and your body will thank you!

References

  1. http://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/coping/maintaining-a-healthy-lifestyle/keeping-active/index.html
  2. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/259727.php
  3. http://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/coping/maintaining-a-healthy-lifestyle/keeping-active/benefits-of-being-active.html#96481
  4. http://www.mdanderson.org/patient-and-cancer-information/cancer-information/cancer-topics/prevention-and-screening/exercise/index.html

TAGS:  cancer, exercise, prevention, treatment

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