Exercise is Beneficial for Cancer Patients

Special thanks to David Haas for reaching out and asking to post this very uplifting article on my blog. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I really appreciate the following point:

Cancer is not the end, but a second beginning. While exercise is not a cure, it can be
a path to a happier, healthier life during and after treatment.

Here is the full article: 

A cancer diagnosis is a scary and often surprising event. Many patients going
through mesothelioma treatment may fear losing strength and fitness by having to
rest all the time. The good news is exercise is ok during and after cancer, and may
help to extend life.

While it may seem contradictory, the more exercise a person gets, the less tired
they are. Physical activity helps to build the cardiopulmonary fitness level and keeps
muscles strong, which reduces the overall fatigue experienced by patients. The best
way to avoid the cycle of tiredness, lack of activity, wasting of muscles and more
fatigue is to get up and get moving any way possible.

An exercise regimen can guard against the nausea that often accompanies
treatment. Why this works is not clear, but it is thought that the redirection of blood
away from the abdomen may play a role. Physical activity raises metabolism and
increases the rate at which food is digested, reducing the urge to vomit. Going
outside and moving around may provide the patient a welcome distraction from the
disease and its symptoms, helping the person to feel less nauseous.

Exercising regularly can reduce anxiety, depression, insomnia and stress and help
the patient feel more independent. A fitness regimen can also bring social benefits
by allowing friends and family to tag along, increasing self esteem and motivation. In
the long term, exercise will help the patient maintain weight and provide protection
against osteoporosis and heart disease, both of which play a part in overall health
and longevity.

The American Cancer Society suggests any patient considering an exercise routine
to first discuss it with a doctor. It is best to start slow and work up to more intense
activity, with an emphasis on muscle strengthening and aerobics. Simple household
tasks such as raking the yard or washing the car are simple ways to keep up a
fitness level between workouts. Before exercise, proper warm ups such as stretching
and knee lifts should be performed to prevent injury. The patient should immediately
stop a workout if there is shortness of breath, very rapid heartbeat or any kind
of pain. It is also ok to not exercise on some days, as rest is just as important as
fitness.

Some may benefit from engaging a personal trainer to oversee an exercise program
and to help them meet fitness goals. There are trainers who specialize the needs of
cancer patients and can be recommended by the hospital or personal physician.

Cancer is not the end, but a second beginning. While exercise is not a cure, it can be
a path to a happier, healthier life during and after treatment.

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2 Comments

  1. Ann

     /  March 31, 2012

    Tom Hirt is my Beachbody coach. He sent me your request…here goes.
    Last year I was in pretty good shape. Had just started doing Turbo Fire for my vacation with my mom and sister. We are all very competitive when it comes to being in shape. In July, I noticed my stomach was bloated but, you know, it was nothing. Well on August 4th I was daignosed with Primary Peritoneal Cancer. IT is a type of Ovarian cancer. stage 4 as a matter of fact. In the next week i also developed several blood clots on both of my lungs. Life sucked. I was put on Chemotherapy, which almost killed me the first 2 times due to an allergic reation and surgery was put off until December. I stopped my shakeology and exercising because, a, i was too weak and b, my husband was sure shakeology caused my cancer. I would never have endured my cancer if i was not in the shape i was in. Shakeology would have helped me during my chemo come to find out. Glad to say that as of Feb, 3, 2012 I am in remission. AS of Jan, 14th I have been back to exercising and am 3 weeks away from completing Chalean Extreme! I feel great. If I can help you with any other questions I would be glad to.

  2. You’re an inspiration Ann! THanks for sharing. And something I just learned to help put away your husbands fears about Shakeology. I was told that it generally takes 7 years of a habit or exposure to an element that would finally overwhelm the body’s self defense mechanisms to allow the cancer cells to take hold. I’m still looking into this statement, but I wanted to share.

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