Tips for Exercising During and After Cancer Treatment

One of the most important parts of cancer treatment is exercise. Exercising regularly can improve both your physical and mental health during each phase of treatment. Regardless of whether you have been working before a cancer diagnosis, a personalized exercise program can help you navigate safely and successfully.

Before you start exercising for cancer first, talk to your oncologist about it. Start with something as small as walking 20-30 minutes a day and you can increase the time the days pass as well as the intensity of your exercise.

Exercise for Cancer Patients: What Are the Benefits?

Exercise has many health benefits for cancer patients and survivors like it has for any other person who is exercising. Some of these benefits include increased energy level, increased muscle strength, increase in lean body mass index, and a slight weight gain due to gain in muscle mass.

Therefore, cancer patients who exercise can be as strong, energetic, and slender as anyone who works out.

Benefits of exercise:

Many studies support the notion that exercises during cancer treatment helps you to feel better. 

Some of the benefits listed include:

  • Improve heart rate
  • Build self-confidence
  • Reduce fatigue
  • You are less prone to cardiovascular disease and diabetes
  • They are less likely to experience side effects, such as fatigue and nausea
  • Reduce the risk of depression and anxiety
  • Strengthen your muscles and prevent muscle loss
  • Prevent obesity, which is associated with an increased risk of cancer
  • Make your treatment more effective in destroying tumor cells
  • Prevent any other chronic diseases 
  • Improve the quality of life
  • Increase survival rates for certain cancers, such as breast cancer and colon cancer

Do you worry about whether exercising is safe for you? 

You need not worry as studies have shown that its completely safe for you to exercise.

Studies have found that exercise during cancer treatment can alter the tumor microenvironment and strengthen the immune system to fight cancer.

Exercising consistently also helps you to control your weight, which is important for cancer risk. In fact, studies have linked obesity to an increased risk of many cancers, including endometrial, esophageal, liver, pancreatic, and breast cancer.

There is growing evidence that being overweight can lead to a higher risk of cancer recurrence and even cancer-related death.

Which is the best time to start exercising after cancer diagnosis and treatment?

In fact, we know that after a cancer diagnosis, people slow down. Depression and the feeling of being sick or tired because of cancer or its treatment all often make people unemployed.

The problem is, many people become inactive after treatment.

It is important for cancer survivors to return to exercise to help them recover.

So, if you have been motionless since your cancer diagnosis, now is the time to return to your active mode.

Easy walking 20 minutes a day has been shown to improve the overall health of cancer patients. Get started today! Help your body recover better and faster.

Exercise for Cancer Patients: What Should You Do?

Circumstances vary from person to person. Ask your doctor or fitness trainer before starting a moderate to a vigorous exercise program.

Here are a few exercises that can help cancer patients:

Flexibility tests (stretching): Almost everyone can do flexibility tests. Stretching is important to keep moving, to keep moving. If you are not ready to go to the gym, you should always be flexible. Practice yoga, pranayama, and meditation to keep you active.

Exercise: Such as walking, brisk walking, jogging, swimming, etc. These are type of exercise that helps you burn calories and help you lose weight. Exercise also builds resilience, reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.

Resistance training (lifting weights): This helps build muscle mass. Many people have lost muscle, but gained fat, through cancer treatment. For those with a high fat-to-lean mass, resistance training can be extremely helpful.

An exercise coach or trainer can help design the right program for you. Talk to your doctor or workout trainer to help you find the right exercise program. You can easily get the cancer hospital in Bangalore that provides exercise programs too by talking to their counselor. Their cancer counselors are well trained to guide cancer patients along the entire treatment journey.

How much should a cancer patient exercise? Should it always be a hardcore workout?

For most people, at least 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical

activity at least 5 days a week is recommended. 

The idea is to start with small baby steps. Start with small achievable goals and then increase the intensity of the workout once you feel confident. Start by walking for 20 minutes daily. You can later increase the time and speed of your physical activity.

Try to find a job that you enjoy. Collaborate with the person closest to your level of fitness. Exercising with a friend will keep you motivated.

Whatever you do, do not be discouraged. Doing anything is better than doing nothing.

Going to a gym or anywhere else to increase your physical activity is not necessary. Simply incorporating more exercise into your daily routine can get you started. 

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Taking stairs instead of a lift or elevator is more than enough. If you cant take stairs now, it’s okay. You can just walk in your living room
  • Buy a pedometer (step counter) or download the app on your mobile phone and increase your daily number of steps. You can also wear smartwatches to always keep you reminding your physical activity levels
  • Take breaks every day to stop, stretch, and take short walks after each meal

What if you are too tired to exercise?

Sometimes fatigue can be so bad that it is good to rest.

Take a break, start small and build up. Your energy level will increase, over time.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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