Exercise- Doing it For, Despite and Because of Cancer
This article was submitted by David Haas, an advocate for wellness in the cancer community. I thank him for his work and for allowing me to share this material. – Pedro
“It’s cancer.” Hearing those words is shocking and scary, and most people are not sure what comes next. Breathing is the important first response. Talking to a doctor, learning about the disease, and finding a support system are good next steps. Exercise follows. Whether they are facing a new diagnosis, starting treatment therapy, or on the road to recovery, cancer patients should make exercise a priority in their lives. Cancer patients and survivors face numerous challenges, and exercise can make those challenges a little easier. People with cancer need to find the beauty and joy in life. They should not be limited by their disease, treatment, or survival. Exercise can give them the energy and strength they desperately need, when they need it the most. Physical fitness is an important component of cancer therapy. It is an essential component of energy balance, according to the National Cancer Institute. A healthy weight, nutritious meals, and regular physical activity go a long way to help the body fight illness and enjoy well being. Exercise is crucial before, during, and after cancer treatment. Cancer patients and survivors who incorporate exercise into their daily routines enjoy many health and fitness benefits. They have more energy and less fatigue. Their bodies are stronger, stable and mobile. They eat better, sleep better and live better. Best of all, they regain the sense of control that the knowledge of cancer first took from them.
For cancer patients who face long surgeries and exhaustive treatments, exercise is usually not a top priority. Fatigue, nausea, and myriad other side effects make exercise unthinkable at times. Nevertheless, patients should make exercise a priority. The strength, energy, and confidence it provides are wonderful weapons of combat in the battle with cancer. Cancer survivors often worry about the recurrence of their cancer, or the development of new cancer. The National Cancer Institute encourages exercise as a good way to lose pounds and control weight. Studies show that regular moderate activity lowers the initial risk of cancer as well as the recurrence risk. Exercise also reduces the mortality rate among cancer survivors. In addition to all the health and fitness benefits of exercise, physical activity is just plain fun. Cancer patients — and the population at large — often get bogged down in the seriousness of life and health. Patients can ensure their success with exercise if they focus on the fun. (Click here for “The Benefits of Exercise After Cancer” article).
People who engage in activities they enjoy are more likely to stick with their exercises. Fitness classes and group activities provide encouragement and motivation as well as emotional and social support. Exercising with family and friends is another good option. Cancer patients experience all types and stages of cancer: breast cancer surgery, treatable skin cancer, rare mesothelioma, and numerous other types. People who exercise despite cancer (instead of for their cancer) are guaranteed better general well-being and a higher quality of life.
Submitted by: David Haas
Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Guest Blogger