Cancer is growing part of our everyday world. Most everyone knows of a family member or friend who has battled this disease. It hits us so hard and so unexpected that it abruptly jettisons our lives onto a course that we wouldn’t have chosen to take otherwise. We undergo a tremendous amount of mental and physical stress as we prepare to win the fight…
Exercise may be the furthest thing from your mind after a cancer diagnosis. Exercise improves stamina, balance, flexibility, and overall well being. People who undergo cancer treatment with a positive mind and body have an 80% better chance of survival than those who don’t. With more medical professionals recommending exercise to their patients, it is imperative for cancer survivors to learn how to exercise safely. A good exercise program will help to reduce the side effects of surgery and treatments. These side effects can include fatigue, neuropathy, decreased range of motion (ROM), weakness, lymphedema, and a significant emotional toll. Cancer can be a wake‐up call to make healthy lifestyle changes.
When some people hear the word exercise, they might immediately think about a difficult gym class or boot camp. An effective recovery program should include safe, gentle and effective stretching, balancing and strengthening exercised that are blended together into a holistic program. As thousands of cancer survivors are finding, a good fitness program will help them build up strength, improve mood and help recovery.
Exercise should be part of the treatment plan because it may:
- Decrease body fat to help lower estrogen levels
- Reduce circulating testosterone
- Improve the immune system
- Decrease insulin levels
- Reduce pain from cancer treatments
Exercise may reduce the chance of recurrence, and it is therefore more important than ever to add exercise to a recovery plan. For those who have been active prior to their diagnosis, this is great news. You’ll be able to get back to the activities you enjoy even quicker. For the cancer survivors who are inactive, you will have the opportunity to learn the tools that you need to get started in an exercise program that is part of a healthy lifestyle.
Check back with us to see the rest of this multi-part series on how exercise can help benefit those undergoing cancer treatments and recovery. Our next installments will include sample exercises and stretches that are programmatically applied.
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Tony Bianchino is a Nationally Certified Personal Trainer and Cancer Recovery Specialist
See more about Tony on our website Out Run your Fork.com