January 10, 2023
A study published in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer* found that people with cancer who had a regular physical activity routine reported better quality of life. Exercise comes with a set of health benefits for those undergoing different cancer treatments such as immunotherapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc. It improves the body's response to treatment regardless of the stage or type of cancer. A few ways exercise can help during cancer treatment are as follows:
Before starting any exercise regime, it is crucial to remember that the body is still weak. Start with low-impact activities that are easy on your body, such as walking, swimming, or cycling. Exercises help in building endurance and strength in the body over time. If a person is experiencing extreme tiredness during workouts, take some time to rest. Pay attention to how the body feels during and after physical activity. Stop immediately if any pain or fatigue occurs.
In addition, drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after exercise. Make sure to drink at least 8 cups of water every day. Also, exercise in a flat, safe spot to avoid the risk of fall-related injuries. Cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy should avoid pool activities since bacteria in swimming pools can cause infection, and chlorine water can also irritate skin impacted by radiation.
An exercise plan during cancer treatment differs for different people, depending on several factors. Cancer types, treatments, side effects, individual fitness, and other health issues all play a key role in creating an exercise regimen for a cancer patient. Therefore, it is crucial to always take doctor’s go ahead before beginning a fitness routine. However, a few exercises have been beneficial for cancer patients undergoing different treatments. Let’s check them out!
Stretches are safe for almost every age group and can significantly improve flexibility and posture. By increasing the flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles, it can assist the body in repairing itself. It can help counter the harmful effects of radiation therapy that can limit the range of motion and cause the muscles to stiffen. Stretching can help break down stiff scar tissue following cancer surgery, allowing survivors to resume regular daily activities.
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After cancer treatment, maintaining balance can be difficult. Balance exercises can also help reduce fatigue, increase energy levels, and improve overall physical health and mobility. Additionally, these types of exercises can help regain stability which can prevent injuries and falls. Some easy balance exercises are as follows:
Also known as cardio exercise, aerobic activity helps increase the heart rate. It helps to build strength in the heart and lungs and can significantly reduce fatigue during and after treatment. This type of exercise can reduce stress and enable one to maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, aerobic exercises can also help improve circulation, stimulate the immune system, and assist with breathing. All these benefits can enable people with cancer to cope better with their treatment and recovery.
Walking is a simple form of aerobic exercise. Healthcare providers may recommend walking for 40 to 50 minutes, 3 to 4 times per week, at a moderate speed.
Lack of physical activity during cancer treatment and recovery can lead to muscle loss. And weakened muscles. To regain muscle strength, it is important to include strength training (resistance training) in their routine. This can raise muscle mass which will help them to do everyday activities with ease. Strength training also provides protection against the bone-weakening condition osteoporosis which is a common side effect of several cancer treatment procedures.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise performing full-body strength training two times each week for those undergoing cancer treatment. This may involve the use of hand weights, exercise machines, and other equipment.
During cancer treatment, patients may experience shortness of breath, which can prevent them from doing regular physical activities or workouts. Breathing exercises improve endurance and provide relief from stress and anxiety. Additionally, it strengthens the lungs and improves overall well-being.
The 2 most common breathing exercises are as follows:
To conclude, cancer treatment can be physically and mentally challenging. However, it is important to stay active and take part in physical exercise. Exercise can help improve overall health and well-being, reduce stress and anxiety, and help manage the side effects of cancer treatment. Before beginning any exercise program, consult with a doctor to determine which activities are safe and beneficial. For detailed guidance, contact Advanced Cancer Treatment Center, the best cancer treatment clinic in Florida to schedule an appointment with the best cancer care specialists.
*Follow the link for the data provided by Supportive Care in Cancer