The Right Fitness for Cancer Patients
Researchers have spent a lot of time in recent years investigating the health benefits of regular exercise. We now know that regular exercise, about 30 minutes a day, five days a week, lowers risks of heart disease, diabetes and many cancers. Anyone who has received a cancer diagnosis, however, may still have questions about exercise.
If you have ever received a cancer diagnosis, whether it was yesterday or decades ago, exercise is still important for you. In the past, doctors used to advise cancer patients to refrain from physical exertion, but recent studies indicate that cancer patients who exercise reap many benefits, including a higher quality of life than those who remain sedentary.
Of course, the type of cancer you have as well as the type of treatment you are receiving will certainly play a role in what fitness level is right for you, as will your overall physical condition. For example, those with mesothelioma may wish to minimize aerobic exercise due to difficulty breathing. In general, you should avoid activities that result in serious discomfort. If you have any questions or concerns about finding an appropriate exercise regime, talk with your doctor. Your physician and oncology staff will not only give you tips for how to exercise during cancer treatments but also be able to connect you with organizations focused on bringing fitness to cancer patients and survivors.
As you establish a fitness routine, you will see many health benefits. These may include
· Lower blood pressure
· Elevated mood
· Decreased anxiety
· Better circulation and blood flow
· Stronger muscles and bones
· Maintained or improved range of motion
· Less nausea
· More overall energy
While you will certainly enjoy these benefits during cancer treatment, you can also reap the benefits of exercise after treatment. Some research indicates that certain types of cancer are far less likely to recur in individuals who exercise regularly. Other studies found a correlation between the life expectancy of some cancer survivors and their overall fitness levels.
A cancer diagnosis carries grave implications. Your doctors and oncology staff work tirelessly to assist you on your journey toward health, but your personal fitness is your responsibility. Stand up and fight today.