Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness. She wants to make a difference in people’s lives because she sees how cancer has devastated so many people in this world. Liz also likes running, playing lacrosse, reading and playing with her dog, April. Her article follows:
How Exercise Can Aide in Cancer Treatment
Going through cancer diagnosis and treatment is a difficult road and for most survivors, keeping the cancer from coming back is their first priority. Research has shown that exercise may help. Even for those still going through treatments, exercise can help by strengthening the body and becoming a strong motivator. Exercise and healthy eating has been recommended for years as a way to avoid cancer, but it is also becoming apparent that the same combination can aid with cancer recovery and help keep the cancer from returning.
In general, exercise is beneficial to nearly everyone, but cancer patients may find it extremely beneficial as it is well known that exercise can improve mood and reduce fatigue, something that cancer patients in particular may suffer from as they go through treatment. Many people slow down during their struggle with cancer, as depression sets in and cancer treatments wear down the body. Then, after recovery, they tend to remain sedentary and let fatigue get the best of them. That is the point when an exercise plan should be implemented. This is true for people will all types of cancer such as breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, and even rare forms of papillary mesothelioma.
Since everyone is different, it is important to consult a doctor before beginning an exercise program. However, these basic types of exercises will help cancer patients, and anyone else, return to fitness.
Flexibility exercises are an easy way to start easing into an exercise program. Stretching or beginner yoga is a good start to improving flexibility. Those not ready for more vigorous exercise can at least work on staying flexible and mobile.
More aerobic exercise such as jogging, swimming or walking is ideal for getting the heart rate up, burning more calories and building endurance. Exercise can begin with short walks and then build up to more brisk walks or jogging. Bicycling is another good aerobic exercise to add to a routine.
Weight lifting is one of the most helpful types of exercise and also the type that typically gets neglected. It is especially important for cancer patients as they tend to lose muscle and gain fat during treatment. Weight training can considerably boost metabolism, build muscle and burn calories. Start with appropriate level hand weights and then move up slowly.
Experts recommend 30-60 minutes of light to vigorous exercise five days a week. Those patients who were previously active before cancer may find it easier to get back into an exercise routine, while those just beginning will want to start more slowly and build up to more vigorous activity. For any level of fitness though, exercise will almost certainly lift moods, boost metabolism and strengthen the body