Exercise may be one of the best things in the world. For cancer patients and survivors, integrating a workout routine, no matter how long can make a large impact on their recovery and well-being. Those that have been diagnosed need to take special care of themselves and keep up a healthy and relatively active lifestyle. Even taking the time to go outside for a walk, weather permitting, can aid patients in recovery, or going on a walk or run with your loved ones can be relaxing and has the added benefit of making it a family affair.
You don’t have to scale Mt. Everest to get some exercise into your routine. Ride a stationary bike while watching your favorite television show can make an hour pass by before you know it. Simple and light weights can spur recovery much faster, and give your body the strength it needs to continue treatment.
Research proves that those diagnosed with cancer can exercise regularly with no harmful effects. It’s natural that exercise cures fatigue and patients who exercise are 40 – 50% less likely to be fatigued. Fatigue is one of the biggest complaints during treatment, and finding a natural alternative to cure it can be a helpful for many patients.
A regular fitness routine can cure fatigue and also helps with depression, something that is common in most cancer patients. It elevates mood and cures almost anything. It is nature’s drug. Weight also plays a factor in many cancer diagnoses, and incorporating something that helps patients lose and maintain a healthy weight is one step towards fighting and winning the war on cancer.
Where do you begin? We know not everyone is a marathon runner or champion athlete, but the great thing about working out is that you can begin at any level. Taking the time to implement a regime before treatment begins is one of the best things a cancer patient can do. Start small, especially those patients who have been inactive, and gradually increase your routine.
Many find it best to get advice from a physical therapist so you don’t overdo your workouts. Exercising specific body parts or focusing on specific areas of the body can benefit patients suffering from specific cancers or side effects such as lymphedema.
Make sure your workouts contain these three components:
- Cardio to pump up your heart rate
- Strength training to tone and build muscles
- Stretching to keep joints and muscles limber
Brisk walking, jogging or swimming are great examples of cardio. For strength training be mindful to get proper instruction.
As always, consult a physician to determine what kind of fitness routine is best for your body. You can always break up your cardio into three ten minute increments to get a total of 30 minutes of cardio in per day. The important thing is to always remember your limits and make sure that you are listening to your body.