Thursday, February 9, 2012

Exercise Helps Cancer Patients to Heal

Have you recently been diagnosed with cancer? Are you currently battling breast cancer, mesothelioma , colon cancer or another type of cancer? Do you live in fear that the beast you beat will come back one day? While the last thing you may want to do is exercise, reputable sources claim that exercise is beneficial for cancer patients and cancer survivors in a variety of ways.

According to the New York Times online, several gyms have designed programs that help cancer patients and survivors recover and heal from the illness. These programs help with the fatigue that’s so prevalent after chemotherapy. Workout regimes will also help to rebuild lost muscle tone, a side effect of months of bed rest and exhaustion.

Exercise seems to help people who have been diagnosed with cancer at just about every stage of their disease. Even patients who are currently undergoing radiation treatments are encouraged to go for short walks and stretch when possible. The most delicate exercises include swimming, yoga and working out with resistance bands. An overall workout regime will include stretching; aerobic activity like running or walking; and muscle toning.

Aside from helping you to maintain a healthy body weight and an attractive appearance, working out has a broad range of health benefits. People who work out, whether they’ve dealt with cancer or not, feel less fatigued than those who don’t exercise regularly. People who exercise also are stronger and have better aerobic health than people who don’t exercise. Even moderate exercise can improve the immune system and prevent cancer from coming back. Exercise has been shown to ward off cancer, help cancer patients heal and prevent a recurrence.

It’s important for people who are currently battling cancer to remember that they should listen to their bodies. Some people excuse themselves from exercise because they simply feel tired. In these cases, it would be better for the person to exercise, which counteracts fatigue. However, some days, particularly those during radiation treatment, cancer patients may feel just too weak to exercise. Taking a day or two off from exercise here or there is completely normal. Even people who exercise regularly give their bodies a break a couple of times a week. Moderate exercise means 30 to 45 minutes of exercise approximately four times per week.

Always listen to your body. If you think you’re slacking off, get to the gym. However, if you truly think your body is too weak to handle exercise, give yourself time to heal. Most people know their bodies well enough to decide what they can and cannot handle. Also, it’s important to always discuss exercise plans with a doctor before starting a new regime.