Let me introduce Mr. David Haas, a cancer patient advocate and fitness enthusiast with The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. Not only does David have a few worthwhile observations to make that will help any cancer patient, HE’S MY FIRST GUEST BLOGGER!
(Join me next week for more food and history at The Hungry Mind)
Using Fitness to Ease the Symptoms Associated With Cancer Treatment
North County Cancer Fitness, a wellness center for cancer patients, states that participating in exercise is beneficial to cancer patients going through treatment for mesothelioma or any other type of cancer. Physical activity has been proven to be an effective tool in reducing symptoms and increasing other factors beneficial to the cancer patients recovery and overall quality of life. As a patient goes through cancer treatment, one can find relief from some of the following symptoms through the use of exercise and other forms of physical activity.
Nausea is a common side effect one may experience following cancer treatment. It can leave a patient feeling drained of energy and unable to get through one’s daily routine. However, gentle forms of exercise such as Yoga or Tai Chi can help relieve symptoms of nausea and put one in a better frame of mind.
Exercising to counteract fatigue appears to be a major contradiction; however, physical activity is one of the best ways to decrease fatigue. Even short, 10-minute spurts of fast walking, bike riding or jogging help increase energy levels, clear the mind and make one feel better and more lively.
Decreased Range of Movement
Stiffness, soreness and general tiredness can affect the body by decreasing one’s range of movement. If you’re sore when you move it’s not likely exercise will be the first thing that enters your mind as a solution; however, keeping the body in motion is an effective way to increase range of movement. Adding stretching exercises, swimming or Pilates into one’s daily routine to loosen joints and relieve soreness will also benefit in increasing mobility.
When you participate in aerobic exercise and include activities that get the heart pumping, your brain releases a hormone known as endorphins. This hormone is known as the “feel good hormone” because it lifts one’s mood while relieving stress. Next time you’re feeling down, get on your exercise bike or lace up your sneakers and move at an accelerated pace for 10 to 30 minutes.
Feelings of Isolation
If you’re able to be around others, exercise is a great way to socialize and take care of your body. Attend an exercise class or walk or bike ride with family members and friends.
The benefits of exercise as part of your treatment plan against cancer can help both physically, mentally and emotionally. As you gain empowerment through physical activity you’ll begin to feel that you have a plan to work toward wellness, rather than having the entire focus be on illness. Work with your doctor and his or her medical staff to determine the types of exercise that would be best for you. Exercise when you can, knowing that short spurts of exercise throughout the day are just as effective and beneficial as one longer session. Similar to many other treatments, physical activity will produce results slowly and consistently as you exercise on a regular basis.
Thank you, David! As a cancer survivor, I can vouch for David’s entire article. As difficult as it may have been at the time, a simple 10 minute walk would have made some very bad days a little better. I’m convinced of it. Learn more about David and all he does for cancer patients over at http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/david/