Thursday, March 15

Guest Blogger...Cancer & Exercise

This is my first guest to post on my blog.  Thanks to David Haas for contacting me.  David is an awareness program advocate for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance in the US and he requested to share information about how exercise can benefit cancer sufferers.

Even though David is an advocate for those who suffer from Mesothelioma Cancer in particular, his message is to anyone who may suffer or may know people who suffer from the general disease known as 'Cancer'.  David's contact details can be gleaned from the above link to his Bio page.

I thought it would make a nice change to have a post that wasn't about me for a change, but still aligned to what I advocate about the benefits of health and fitness.  Sometimes, taking a moment to reflect upon other people's maladies, helps give ourselves a better appreciation of our own good health and the realisation of how blessed we truly are.

Live a Better Life Through Physical Fitness Even While Fighting Cancer

Physical fitness is known to have many benefits for anyone who participates in it. For someone who has been newly diagnosed with cancer, is going through radiation and/or chemotherapy treatments, or for those who are in remission, exercise is even more beneficial.

Exercise improves strength, endurance, and increases self esteem. It also increases energy levels, which are often depleted due to cancer treatments. Physical activity can help with depression and it relieves stress. All of these things will help you to feel more physically and mentally fit, aiding you in experiencing a general feeling of well being. While taking certain medications and treatments you may become constipated. Exercise is also known to ease this issue.

Physical activity may not be easy for some due to the type of cancer they have, the treatments they are receiving, or due to their age. Some people may have trouble moving or walking, or may experience weakness. Others may experience pain causing them to have difficulty in moving. In these cases, it is understandable that you would rather not move at all, but the more you stay in bed, the weaker your muscles become.  

Physical activity does not mean that you should do strenuous amounts of exercise for great lengths of time. Exercise is beneficial to you even if you do only a small amount to start with. If you do more than you should you may cause injury or harm to yourself. To begin getting some exercise, you can do things such as making an effort to get out of bed and walk to the other side. If you are feeling weak, have someone help you to do this. You can also sit in bed and do simple movements such as moving your arms in circles or lifting your legs, if possible.

Exercises that are common among people who are in remission from cancer or who are newly diagnosed are: Walking, yoga, range of motion exercises, gardening, dancing and light aerobics. As you gain strength you might try biking, swimming and moderate strength training. Start slow and build up to doing more as you can.  The American Cancer Society recommends that cancer survivors who are adults, exercise for at least 30 minutes a day for five days a week or more.

You should discuss with your doctor, the types of physical activity you can do, before doing any type of exercise, especially if you are undergoing mesothelioma treatment, as this normally affects the lungs making it painful and difficult to breathe at times. Your doctor can help you to make personalized recommendations for your fitness plan.

By following your doctor's recommendations on exercise, and following through, you can live a better life even while fighting cancer.



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