Thank you David Haas for the great articles on this page. (January 2012)
Fight Cancer With Oxygenating Exercise
According to SurviveCancer.org cancer cells are anaerobic which means they abhor oxygen. Since aerobic exercise introduces more oxygen into the body, it is an excellent way to fight the effects of a cancer diagnosis and the subsequent cancer treatment, while maintaining good physical conditioning. Whether you are fighting breast cancer, mesothelioma or any other type of cancer, participating in exercise that introduce oxygen into your body is an effective way in which to stay strong and promote good health before, during and after treatment. Speak to your doctors or oncologist to create an exercise plan, and then start incorporating it as an effective tool to help you feel better.
The Roman Army was a powerful force that won many battles and conquered many lands. Part of their method for staying strong was interval training, also known as walk/run. For starters, take as brisk a walk as you can for 30 minutes. If you’re able to incorporate any running spurts, do it. Most importantly, walk outdoors where you can get fresh air in your lungs. The oxygen alone does your body a world of good.
Put on some music and dance, or take a dance class. Dance is an excellent form of exercise and types of dance that involve faster movements help bring a lot of oxygen into and through your body. Boost your physical fitness and your mood with some fun disco or jazz music and dance around your living room. If you need some socializing and your immune system is up to being around other people, a dance class is ideal.
Tennis & Golf
You don’t have to be a pro at either tennis or golf to get outdoors and enjoy playing. Whether you play an actual game or just hit the ball around, the fresh air and movement are excellent for your body. Grab a partner or friend who also enjoys the sport of your choice so you can enjoy the company of another while getting your exercise.
Stress Relief and Breathing Exercise
Sit in a comfortable chair and close your eyes. Take in a deep breath, and then slowly let it go. As you exhale, feel the tension and fatigue flow out through your limbs. One at a time, feel each body part relax and grow heavy and warm. When your body is totally relaxed, clench each body part one at a time for 10 to 20 seconds and then release to get rid of tension. Finish with a cat-style stretch.
Benefits of Exercise for the Cancer Patient
When diagnosed with cancer, one is usually willing to try anything to regain their health and beat the disease. One exciting weapon to add to the cancer-fighting arsenal is not a new drug. Instead, researchers are pleased to report that physical activity is a benefit when it comes to cancer survival.
The health advantages of regular exercise are many, and along with diet it can play a role in preventing the disease. However, it is only recently that the benefits of regular exercise during the treatment of cancer have become apparent. Previously, doctors have recommended patients undergoing treatment to rest and “take it easy.” Now studies indicate that this may not be the best advice.
What are the benefits of exercise for the cancer patient? For the person just receiving the diagnosis, whether it is common like breast cancer or rare like mesothelioma, physical activity can be an outlet for the fear and stress that comes with the news. Due to the endorphins that a workout can release, exercise can also contribute to the patient’s sense of well-being and help him or her maintain a positive outlook. For those who were active prior to the diagnosis, continuing their workout routine preserves a feeling of normalcy.
During the treatment regimen itself, regular exercise can help combat many of the side effects of treatment, such as fatigue, stress, and depression. Furthermore, it can help with the nausea and loss of appetite that often come with chemotherapy and improve sleep quality. Since cancer treatments are often taxing on the body, especially the heart, continuing some form of cardiovascular activity can help the heart stay strong.
A study found that 15 hours per week of physical activity could slash a breast cancer patient’s odd of dying or the cancer recurring by 40%. It can reduce the risk of patient with prostate cancer dying by 30%, and the risk of death for a colon cancer patient an astonishing 50%. Since exercise can not only ease treatment symptoms but also improve survival odds and help prevent the disease from returning, it is a definite must for cancer patients.
Exercising may be the last thing a cancer patient feels like doing. However, it can ease treatment symptoms, increase odds of treatment success, and improve quality of life. Even non-strenuous activity such as walking, yoga, and gardening are beneficial, and they come with no side effects. So instead of “resting up”, cancer patients should make it a goal to “move more.”
Copyright 2011 (The Canswear website and commentary (noted as Canswear) is the intellectual property of Dara Insley.)