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Exercise Helping Cancer Patients

February 1, 2016 0 Comments

We all know the benefits of exercise and the shortfalls of being sedentary – but have you ever considered the advantages of movement specific to a certain disease? Recent studies suggest that regular exercise improves the overall quality of life for people who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Some ways exercise helps cancer patients include:

Exercise Benefiting Cancer Patients

Daily exercise has many positive benefits

Increased Energy

Chemotherapy and other treatment methods can have a negative effect on one’s energy levels. After each treatment session, most patients experience fatigue and exhaustion of both mind and body.

You might recall an ‘old saying’: “Energy creates energy”…

Regular exercise is a good way to regain energy as it helps to get the blood flowing and heart pumping, leading to improved energy levels throughout the day.

Weight Control

A common side effect of chemotherapy and radiation is reduced appetite, which in the long run, could result to malnutrition and dehydration. Through exercise, the body is able to combat the side effects of the treatment and naturally stimulate appetite. This can help to avoid the risk of serious weight loss.

Improved Body Function

Pain management methods used in treating disease affects not only energy and appetite, it can upset normal body functions resulting in bowel and urinary disturbances.

Daily exercise can help improve body functions as it stimulates digestion and helps with bowel movement.

Alleviate Depression

It is common for cancer patients to feel anxious and depressed due to the nature of their illness. Exercise helps relieve these symptoms by releasing endorphins (often called “happy hormones”). This hormone improves mood by providing a calming effect on both mind and body.

Exercise Options

While exercise can dramatically improve one’s health condition, it is not necessary to engage into rigorous exercise, especially if a person’s body is weakened by treatments.

Here are some ways cancer patients can be active:

  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Using the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator
  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi
  • Dance
  • Doing a quick leg lift routine in the morning
  • Swimming
  • Aqua aerobics – adjusting the level of exercise according to a person’s abilities
  • Family or social outings that may involve some form of exercise, eg. walking along the beach, swimming in the surf, bushwalks, bird watching which involves walking, a bike tour of a certain part of town… and the list goes on!

Incorporating an exercise routine into a person’s daily life can assist them to cope with medical treatments, and in some cases, stop the disease from spreading. It brings more oxygen into the body and its cells, creates more positive feelings and can give one the energy and fortitude needed to “survive” each treatment.

Filed in: Disease

About the Author:

Olive resides full time in the Training Centre of Back to Basics Care. She assists students to perform activities that take place within a health care setting. Her role here on the website is to keep you up-to-date with research and study outcomes within the health care sector.

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