Benefits of Exercising During Cancer Treatment
When a cancer patient is diagnosed with cancer, it can be frightening to realize that the only way to fight the disease is by staying physically active. Although doctors and scientists have created various medications and therapies to fight cancer, it is the only way for cancer patients to survive.
Fortunately, there are many different types of physical exercise programs that cancer patients and those who care for them can use to fight the disease. Here are some examples
The Physical Therapist
A physical therapist may help cancer patients create an exercise plan. Depending on their diagnosis or how they feel, a patient may need to perform a variety of exercises to keep their body working and healthy.
A physical therapist can also recommend appropriate exercises and equipment for the patient to use during their treatment. Many physical therapy exercises can be done at home, which makes it easy for cancer patients to stay in shape while being treated.
The Cardiac Surgeon
Cancer patients who have chemo, radiation, or surgery may benefit from cardiovascular exercise. This can help improve the heart’s pumping ability and improve circulation. Exercising can also increase the heart’s stamina and allow it to function properly after any type of surgery or treatment.
The American College of Sports Medicine
This medical association recommends that people undergoing chemotherapy undergo a three-month endurance-based physical fitness program.
This plan is designed to make exercise safe and effective during treatment. There are many benefits to exercising during treatment:
- Increased energy and stamina
- Better overall health
- Protection from side effects of chemotherapy
- Reduction in the risk of pulmonary embolism and blood clots
This plan can be used by both cancer patients and physical therapists.
The Occupational therapist
Physical therapists can make exercise safer for cancer patients who are having difficulty getting out of bed or moving around after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.
This occupational therapy profession includes tasks like using stairs, helping a patient to move from one room to another, and other tasks.
These professionals also have a lot of experience with muscle control, balance, and body mechanics, making exercise a safe way to improve daily functioning for someone who has been diagnosed with cancer.
Balance exercises should be a part of every patient’s exercise program. This is because poor balance can cause major problems in breathing, heart rate, and circulation.
Cancer patients can greatly benefit from breathing exercises, such as those used in yoga. Cardiovascular and muscle-strengthening exercises can also help improve balance and make exercising a more comfortable experience.
There have been extensive research studies on the relationship between regular physical activity and reduced health outcomes. One of the most recent of these studies was conducted on mice, which were found to have a much lower incidence of prostate cancer than normal.
Another study that was performed on cancer survivors found that moderate exercise training significantly boosted their immune system’s ability to fight off infection. It also improved overall health, including weight and blood pressure.
A Clinical Trial
A clinical trial is a large scale study that randomly assigns randomly hundreds or thousands of individuals to a group or exercise routine. During this exercise routine, people are monitored very closely for health outcomes.
One study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found that moderate exercise training boosted the number of muscle cells found in the heart muscle. This increase in muscle cells helped delay the progression of heart disease.
A Practical Application
The most important benefit of participating in an exercise program, whether you are just watching your weight, are diagnosed with cancer, or are battling the disease, is that it helps improve your quality of life. By relieving pain and stress, exercising provides a sense of control over one’s own body.
Exercise programs can also help improve cancer recovery by helping to improve your overall fitness. And the results of an exercise program on cancer patients have been promising.
Studies Show Benefits
It is not uncommon to find positive results in studies. This is especially true when the focus of the studies is on an area that is potentially beneficial to human health.
One such study published in the American Journal of Physical Therapy found that women who were undergoing cancer treatment who participated in moderate physical activity were more likely to recover from their breast cancer when they were released from the hospital.
The women who participated in daily exercise sessions not only experienced a greater rate of recovery from their breast cancer, but also a lower risk of recurrence.
Similarly, studies have found similar results in men undergoing surgery for prostate cancer. Exercise and cancer go hand in hand, and exercise is an essential part of cancer prevention. Participating in a regular exercise program can help
- Increase your physical well-being
- Help control your weight
- Help increase your fitness levels
- Improve your physical self-confidence
- Increase your stamina
- Boost your immune system
Participating in exercise can also help you cope with the physical side effects of cancer treatments. For instance, the physical effects of chemotherapy treatment can cause
Regular exercise can alleviate the symptoms associated with these side effects and allow cancer survivors to focus on living with the cancer treatment, instead of feeling helplessly trapped by its effects.
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