Thursday, January 19, 2012

Exercise And Cancer- Fitness During And After Treatment

Physical fitness is a chief component of “energy balance,” a term that describes how exercise, weight, and diet impact health. According to the National Cancer Institute, numerous studies link physical activity to reduced cancer risks, increased survival rates, and improved quality of life.

Various medical studies have revealed the positive effects of exercise on several different types of cancer. Colon, breast, endometrial, lung, and prostate cancers are some examples.  Current studies funded by the National Cancer Institute are exploring the impact of exercise on other cancers.

Physical activity is related to health in numerous ways. In healthy people, exercise controls weight, improves heart health, reduces blood pressure, maintains muscles, improves bone and joint health, reduces stress, promotes emotional health, and so much more.

Exercise is beneficial for cancer patients, too. Not only do they enjoy the same health benefits as healthy people, but they reap additional benefits, too. Physical activity returns the sense of control that is so often lost to cancer diagnosis and treatment. Exercise enables patients to cope with their various cancer symptoms and treatment side effects. It typically speeds their recovery time, and it greatly enhances their quality of life.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults need about two-and-a-half hours of exercise each week. They need moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, as well as strengthening activities that work all the major muscle groups.

Cancer patients may not be able to start a fitness program at this level, and that is all right. Exercise helps patients maximize their health both during and after treatment, and even small amounts of activity produce measurable benefits. Studies show that women who exercise after breast cancer surgery and chemotherapy live longer lives, with less risk of recurrence. Colorectal cancer survivors who exercise also experience improved survival rates. Even people in mesothelioma treatment experience benefits: improved mood, reduced fatigue, and more self-confidence.

Many cancer patients wonder when they should start a fitness program after diagnosis and treatment. “As soon as possible,” say most medical experts. Stress, depression, sickness, and fatigue work together to down-shift physical activity during cancer treatment. But exercise is essential for a good recovery.

As each person’s situation is different, cancer patients should check with their doctor before starting an exercise program. Upon their doctor’s approval, they should incorporate moderate activity into their daily lives. Exercise is critical to the physical health and emotional well-being of cancer patients. It greatly improves their outlook, and it provides the strength and energy necessary to fight their illness well.


Tami said...

You are an inspiration to all of us.

sarasowise said...

Thank you, this was written by ny new guest writer! ♥♥♥