Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Benefits of Exercise AND Cancer....Educate Yourself!!!

 {head over to Karmaloop if you are interested in purchasing a shirt or a cool pin}

Liz is a recent college graduate and a huge health nut.  I was so pumped when she contacted me about guest blogging for me.  Liz is super passionate about cancer and I think that she can teach us ALL a little something about the disease.  I am sure that we all know someone who has or had cancer.

Physical Activity Offers Cancer Patients Enhanced Recovery

Cancer treatment and recovery can alter activity levels dramatically. Physical exercise may be reduced or abandoned because of symptoms. Apathy can take hold. There may also be a reluctance to participate in previous activities because of the belief that one is sick and therefore should rest. In many cases this is understandable, especially if the patient is undergoing treatments that cause severe side effects like nausea, dizziness or weakness. Surprisingly, increased activity may actually reduce many of these common obstacles.

Evidence from recent studies has suggested that the health effects of exercise during and after cancer treatment dramatically improve both mental and physical health. Not only does exercise combat depression and keep the body stronger, it may even increase survival rates and lower the risk of progression and re-occurrence of certain cancers. This goes for patients with all types of cancers whether it is breast cancer , lung cancer or papillary mesothelioma.

Measurable benefits of exercise during and after treatment include: increased muscle mass, improved immune function, better mobility and balance, increased stamina, decreased nausea and vomiting, improved range of motion, better sleep and improved mood and self esteem.

Stretching exercises and balance training can diminish weakness or instability caused by surgeries and side effects of drugs. Targeted strength and stabilization exercises can restore the range of motion and reduce pain in affected areas. Professionally guided rehabilitation programs allow the patient to increase their activity and ability levels incrementally.

In some cases, exercise can begin during chemotherapy or radiation. This must be evaluated on a case by case basis by the patient’s medical team. Not all patients can jump into a vigorous exercise program right away, but this does not mean they have to wait to begin moderate exercise. Even modest activities like brief walks and gentle swimming can be effective. Gardening, housework, and active hobbies are encouraged when the patient is strong enough to participate. When people are doing something that they enjoy, it shifts their focus to positivity. Reduction of stress and promotion of positive emotions has been shown to enhance physical health in patients with all types of diseases, and cancer patients are no different.

Staying motivated to continue an exercise routine while undergoing cancer treatment or transitioning into post-cancer life can be challenging, especially if symptoms are interfering with endurance and comfort. Listening to the body carefully and taking a day off when necessary is not only perfectly acceptable but is also an important safety measure. Recovery can be a long process with stops and starts, but as long as the patient is taking steps forward, the efforts will pay off.

A healthier body and lifestyle through exercise is something every cancer patient and survivor should invest in. Attaining the highest possible level of fitness during and after treatment can both improve life and extend it.

{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.}


Shervin's World said... Best Blogger Tips

Awesome post!! Keep on bloggin LIZ. Thanks for putting on your site!

I'm following. Holla at me.

lolita said... Best Blogger Tips

This is a great post hun.. i might get me something :) x

Jin said... Best Blogger Tips

@lolita I think that the T-shirts are cool...thanks for stopping by today!


Sharon said... Best Blogger Tips

Great post&very useful!

Great blog,am a new follower x

Jin said... Best Blogger Tips

@SharonThanks for stopping by today!!! I love your blog...I'm reading all of your make up posts now!