Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Great Guest Post!!

Received an email last week from another health enthusiast Liz Davies, who wanted to write a guest article on my blog. Not only was I flattered to know someone actually reads my blog (especially after my long breaks in blogging!! lol), but the topic for the article really hit home for me.

My family has a long history of battling cancer, I've seen firsthand what cancer can do to a person's body and spirit. It's a nasty disease, but we can better our odds of preventing it by keeping a positive attitude, making healthy food choices, and getting exercise. Thank you Liz for this great article!

Exercise and Cancer

According to health professionals at the American Cancer Society, engaging in regular, light to moderate exercise can increase a cancer patient’s overall health and wellbeing. In the past, people diagnosed with cancer restricted their physical activity. Cancer symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, depression, nausea and pain often reduce a cancer patient’s motivation to exercise. The benefits of exercise during cancer treatment are numerous.

Cancer patients who exercise consistently report fewer cancer symptoms, more energy, reduced fatigue, lower levels or anxiety and depression. Mild to moderate exercise may also reduce the negative side effects of some cancer treatment medications like weight gain, nausea and constipation. Other benefits of a regular fitness program include greater mobility, bone strength and better cardiovascular health. In addition, cancer patients who are physically active during treatment have improved blood circulation, which reduces the likelihood of blood clots.

According to the American Cancer Society, most chemotherapy patients experience debilitating symptoms of fatigue during cancer treatment. Mild to moderate aerobic or cardiovascular exercise is often prescribed to chemotherapy patients to reduce fatigue symptoms and muscle loss.

Cancer specialists recommend checking with a medical doctor prior to beginning any exercise program. Hiring a fitness professional who is trained in developing exercise programs for cancer patients may also be useful in beginning an exercise routine. Most exercise routines can be tailored to a person’s individual health needs. When starting an exercise program it is best to start slowly with mild to moderate cardiovascular exercise or weight training.

Some recommended exercises for cancer patients include aerobic or cardiovascular exercise, mild to moderate strength training, stationary bicycle riding, yoga, tai chi and walking. Besides exercise, going to the gym or fitness center provides social interaction and a respite from doctor appointments and visits to the hospital. Another way to gain social interaction, especially with others that are going through the same issues, is to attend support groups. Mesothelioma support groups are increasingly popular, as well as some of the other more well known cancers like, breast cancer, liver cancer and pancreatic cancer.

Other forms of exercise during cancer treatment include working in the garden, doing housework or using the stairs instead of the escalator. Doctors recommend that cancer patients engage in any mild to moderate form of exercise that feels comfortable. Exercising for 20 to 30 minutes a day or more is an essential part of any cancer patient’s wellness program. Even limited amounts of exercise are beneficial for cancer patients. According to the American Cancer Society, cancer patients who engage in regular exercise have better physical health, a positive attitude and better emotional health.


Post a Comment