Physical activity can result in a variety of benefits for people with cancer, just as it would for people who are cancer free. A daily exercise routine gives people a way to stay active, maintain a healthy weight and be more muscular. In addition to these rewards, physical activity increases positivity and self-confidence while lowering exhaustion and the threat of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
It is important for people undergoing cancer treatments to make sure they remain active; starting just about any type of regular exercise can improve healing. This is true no matter what type of cancer someone is dealing with, whether that is colon cancer or mesothelioma! It is also recommended to consult a professional before beginning a daily exercise routine. There are many licensed health and exercise professionals that can be of great assistance and can tailor individual exercise programs in order to deal with the impact that cancer may have on someone.
Patients who have no prior experience exercising can start with low to moderate intensity mobility exercises. Yoga, tai chi, and pilates are just a few different forms of exercises that are wonderful for improving mobility and balance and can be easily altered for any level of physical ability.
For people who are accustomed to more activity, cardiovascular exercise like swimming, running and walking are great ways to achieve significant benefits from working out. These activities burn calories while increasing lung capacity and decreasing risk of stroke, heart attack and diabetes.
Resistance training, like weight lifting, should not be ignored. This type of exercise helps with improving muscle mass which is very important because treatments like chemotherapy and radiation often cause significant muscle loss. Ideally it is important to include both cardiovascular exercise and strength training into a daily exercise routine.
Motivation can be hard to find when you have an obstacle like cancer standing in the way. This may feel overwhelming but adding some simple activities to a daily routine can be a good way to start. Putting away groceries, taking the stairs instead of the escalator, or buying a pedometer to monitor activity is a good step in the right direction. With such a large variety of activities to choose from finding what works best for you may be the most important part of using exercise to improve your outcomes.
Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness. She is also a friend of SPARK Physiotherapy! She wants to make a difference in people’s lives because she sees how cancer has devastated so many people. Liz also likes running, playing lacrosse, reading and playing with her dog, April.
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