(Today I have a guest blogger for you. Her name is Liz Davies. Liz wants to make a difference in people’s lives because she sees how cancer has devastated so many people in this world. )
Studies have shown that regular exercise for cancer patients can help stimulate the immune system, reduce fatigue and stress levels, as well as strengthen the body. Exercise also stimulates the release of pain reducing endorphins and facilitates a, more restful sleep. A regular exercise routine can help keep bones strong during cancer treatments, minimizing the risk of further damage as well as maximizing the body’s healing potential. Moderate exercise can also reduce nausea and increase appetite in patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments. Exercise has proven to be effective for all types of cancer including breast cancer, pancreatic cancer and even rare types such as papillary mesothelioma.
Before Beginning an Exercise Regiment
Cancer patients should always consult their physician before beginning any type of exercise routine. Radiation and chemotherapy can cause increased fatigue and nausea, so consulting your doctor will help to determine the best time to begin a new exercise regimen. Bone health is also a major concern for cancer patients, and a doctor will be able to advise you on which types of exercises may be to taxing on weakened bones. Certain medications can also affect heart rate, so it’s important to speak with your doctor about types of exercises you should avoid.
Cancer can lower the immune system’s ability to fight infections. It is important to disinfect any equipment being used before each use to prevent exposure to germs and infections. Start a new exercise regimen slowly to build strength and endurance. Have realistic expectations and listen to your body. While exercise should be challenging, you do not want to injure or overtax yourself. The American Cancer Society recommends exercising 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, and adjusting the intensity and duration of the work out as needed.
Types of Exercises
Yoga, Pilates and other flexibility exercises will help maintain mobility and are ideal for cancer patients who are not ready to begin a vigorous exercise routine. Cardiovascular exercises such as jogging and swimming can increase lung capacity and lower the risks of heart attacks, stroke and diabetes. Chemo and radiation treatments can result in weakened bones. Resistance training with weights can help strengthen the bones as well as rebuild muscles lost during treatment. Remember to breathe when lifting weights. Holding your breath can cause changes in blood pressure. Use controlled breaths, inhale when lifting and exhale when lowering.
(More Info About Liz)
Liz is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness.
In her her spare time Liz likes running, playing lacrosse, reading and playing with her dog, April.