Guest Post: The Benefits of Exercising During Cancer Treatment

Today I have a special guest post from Melanie Bowen, who is an Awareness Advocate for Cancer treatments at Melanie’s message urging cancer patients to exercise in order to improve their mental, emotional, and physical health during treatment is one that I applaud, and I am happy to help spread her message.- Brian

Cancer is a horrendous disease that will drastically alter your life, and the treatment for cancer can leave you feeling fatigued and miserable. Doctors once told patients to relax and avoid physical activity while undergoing cancer treatment.

However, research has now shown that exercise is not only safe during cancer treatment, but also helps improve how well your body can function physically and positively affects the quality of your life.

Excessive amounts of rest can result in a loss of body function, reduced range of motion and muscle weakness. This is why doctors are now encouraging individuals in cancer treatment to be more physically active if possible. Exercise is not a cure for the terrible disease but can provide various benefits including:

• Reduce risk of falls and broken bones due to improved balance
• Lower risk of heart disease
• Prevents muscle loss from inactivity
• Reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis
• Improves blood flow and lowers your risk of developing blood clots
• Improves self-esteem and helps maintain social contacts
• You are less dependent on others help with daily activities
• Less nausea and fatigue
• Lowers the chance of developing anxiety and depression
• Helps maintain weight
Ed Note: For more information on the numerous benefits of resistance exercise in regards to health, please see this excellent article written by Dr. Jonathon Sullivan.

According to the American Cancer Society, the affects of exercise and physical activity on your recovery from cancer or the effects on the immune system, is not well known. However, studies have found that exercise does in fact benefit cancer patients in many ways.

Each patient should base their exercise program on what is safe and what works best for their specific situation. A breast cancer patient will most likely need a different exercise regimen than someone receiving treatment for mesothelioma. Always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program to ensure it is safe for you. When creating an exercise plan, consider what physical problems and limits you have and work around that. The type and stage of your cancer, the treatment you are receiving, your strength and endurance, and your overall fitness level will affect your ability to perform the exercises.

Consider seeking the help of an exercise specialist with prior knowledge of exercise and fitness programs for individuals undergoing cancer treatment. These highly qualified professionals can find the ideal fitness plan that is safe for you. They will also help you determine how often and for how long you should exercise.

No matter what level of fitness you are at, your doctor must have input in your exercise program. Furthermore, you should regularly update your cancer team on how you and your body are handling the exercise program while undergoing treatment.

  1. No comments yet.
(will not be published)