By Melanie Bowen
Many people who are undergoing cancer treatment make the mistake in believing that they should avoid physical activity. Many people believe that it is important to save their energy to be able to handle the fatigue, nausea, and pain that usually accompany cancer treatment.
However, current research shows that if people are able to do some type of exercise during cancer treatment, they will be able to reduce certain side effects of the treatment. For example, side effects of mesothelioma treatments may include mobility issues, bowel problems, skin irritations, poor appetite, and even mental problems. Exercising can help to regulate body functions, release endorphins into the body and toxins out. Furthermore, research has shown that participating in physical activity speeds up recovery and decreases the chances of the cancer reoccurring.
It is important to first speak with your doctor to craft an appropriate fitness plan for your specific situation. You want to ensure that you are not over exerting yourself exercising, which could decrease your body’s ability to fight the cancer effectively. As the body improves in function and begins to gain strength, you can begin to increase the intensity of their workouts. You also want to make sure that you are monitoring your body as you go through treatment and work fitness into your routine, in order to maximize the success of your treatment. If they experience any type of discomfort, they should stop the activity and contact their doctor.
With cancer, patients often find themselves facing difficult emotional situations; however, if they incorporate exercise into their lives, it will prove to be beneficial for their emotional well-being. Yoga and other stretching exercises have been known to lessen anxiety and reduce stress. Exercising in ways such as cardiovascular workouts and strength training, release endorphins into the body, which will improve your mood and combat feelings of depression and fatigue. By maintaining a physically active lifestyle, cancer patients will notice improvements in their social lives and in their personalities. Therefore, incorporating some form of exercise into your routine will help both mentally and physically.
Melanie Bowen joined Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance in 2011 as an advocate for natural health and cancer cure initiatives. You will often find her highlighting the great benefits of alternative nutritional, emotional and physical treatments on those diagnosed with cancer or serious illness. In her spare time, you can find Melanie trying a new vegan recipe, on her yoga mat or spending time with her family.