Hey guys! While I am in Yosemite, Melanie is going to take over! She reached out to me about the possibility of doing a guest post, and I jumped at the idea! So many people worldwide suffer from cancer, and anything that can help alleviate the suffering is worth paying attention to! It also speaks to the amazing benefits of exercise. Enjoy!
By Melanie Bowen
If you are a cancer patient, being as fit as possible is ideal. This is true even if
you feel you lack the energy to begin. In fact, exercise is particularly helpful for
cancer patients experiencing fatigue because it increases energy levels.
One common misconception about fitness is that exercise is not an option for
cancer patients. Doctors often still recommend that their patients do nothing but
get plenty of rest. This attitude has become deeply ingrained in the thinking
of most people. The reality is that exercise is very beneficial, even for cancer
patients. By following this outdated advice, those getting treatment for cancers
such as breast, colon and even rare forms of mesothelioma may be missing out
on some valuable benefits.
Where do I start?
It is imperative to gauge your current level of physical fitness. This also takes
into account where you stand in your cancer treatment. Talk to a physical
therapist at your hospital about your ideas. They are usually great at evaluating
your current physical condition and recommending something appropriate. You
should take an approach of moderate exercise because exercising too vigorously
can actually be counterproductive. Moderation ensures you get the benefits of
exercise without injuring yourself or hindering your recovery.
What are the benefits?
One benefit of exercise is that healthy body weight helps lower your risk of
developing infections, secondary cancers, and diabetes. You have all you can
handle right now with cancer. The last thing you need is to acquire an infection
because your immune system was weak from being sedentary.
Another great benefit of increased fitness is that you tend to be in a better
mood. This is because exercise increases brain chemicals called endorphins
that make you feel good. In turn, this will provide added motivation to continue
exercising. You will want to have that feeling again. Another great thing is that
this is a natural high — there is no risk of addiction as with prescription drugs and
Probably the biggest obstacle for most cancer patients sticking with exercise
is motivation. When you are sick, exercise is even harder to start than with a
healthy person. One way to motivate yourself is by listening to your favorite
music while exercising. Another is to find a friend or family member to exercise
with you. Whatever the case, be persistent and you will reap the many benefits of