Cancer and Exercise
Cancer and exercise can seem like mixing water and oil. When patients and caregivers are dealing with the stresses of not only the disease, but the treatment, both individuals can wear, putting greater strain on the body - encouraging more sickness.
In addition to the extensive known benefits of exercise, unknown benefits add to it's powerful positive impact on the body. Whether walking to the kitchen sink every hour, the mail box or training for the next Tour de France, exercise increases oxygen levels in the body and simply put, disease cannot survive in an oxygen saturated environment.
Cancer and exercise do go hand in hand. Where to start. At times the symptoms can seem to contradict exercise. Even simple exercises!
Cancer.org estimated that over half a million people would die of cancer in America in 2008.That's a half a million too many!
If you have cancer and exercise is part of your treatment or cancer cure, ACSM's Exercise Management for Persons with Chronic Diseases and Disabilities-3rd Edition offers some valuable tips on designing and implementing and exercise routine as part of your cancer treatment in addition to the ones below.
Cancer and Exercise - Do they mix?
Yes. There are days and perhaps times when they don't. Your response to exercise can different from day to day and as individual as you are!
The exercise response in cancer patients will be determined by two things:
With most diseases come limitations, disease or treatment specific. Cancer is no exception.
Generally cancer's effect on the exercise is determined by the tissues involved and the extent of the involvement such as:
How Will Exercise Effect Cancer?
Cancer and an exercise programs can be very beneficial for cancer patients providing it is tailored to each one's specific needs.
Objectives will change individually.
If you've been through cancer treatment or been around those with cancer, it can seem impossible that aerobic and resistance exercise is even attainable let alone carry any benefits.
Before you shake you head and walk away, look at all these benefits of exercise!
Use exercise to combat early symptoms of cancer and get ahead of your treatment, however, consult your physician if you have concerns.
Exercise includes several different categories depending on the goals of the person pursuing its benefits. The intensity, frequency and duration of exercise determined by your physical therapist. These guidelines can be found in the following valuable resource.
These categories and associated goals include:
How cancer treatment affects you.
Taken from p. 167 of ACSM's Exercise Management for Persons with Chronic Diseases and Disabilities-3rd Edition
Observation of this table shows that the effects of cancer treatment can be permanent and a battle to fight above and beyond the cancer itself. The beauty of the permanent fight is that it becomes second nature as you make dramatic lifestyle changes.
Precautions for including exercise in your cancer treatment:
Tips for progressing your exercise routine.
Remember that older patients may have co-morbid conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes, to name a few. These conditions may dictate the effect of exercise more so than the actual cancer itself. These fragile patients will need to start slow when mixing cancer and exercise. Consult your physician or physical therapist.
Some cancer treatments may increase the risk for heart disease and death from heart attack. This is important to keep in mind as you discuss how cancer and exercise can benefit your situation.
As you continue (or prevent) your cancer treatment journey , it's not too late to change things now for improved quality of life, better health and prevention of other complications.
Often diseases can send us on a chair-cation. Spending any time in your wheelchair can further deteriorate your health. I've written an extensive resource - Wheelchair Freedom! Get Help. Get Up. Get Out! that puts those in wheelchairs on and educated role to getting back on their feet with illustrated pictures, including how to get in and out of the car from a manual wheelchair and other life easy tips for your wheelchair world!
More suggested reading material that has changed my approach to life and prevention, what I eat and what I do with my body:
Alternative Breast Cancer Treatment
Top Three Wheelchair Exercises For Physical Therapy Home Exercise Programs!
Wheelchair Exercise To Improve Strength
Putting Some Kick Into Your Home Exercise Routine
Inspiration to Start A Home Exercise Program
Taking Your Beginner Exercise Program to the Next Level
Treat Yourself to True, Lasting Health!
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