Having An Exercise Program As Part Of Your Cancer Treatment

Sports is not just a way to interact with friends and boost your self-esteem. The primary function of sports is maintaining your health and keeping you strong and fit. Engaging yourself in sports will help you improve your mental, emotional and physical health, thus contributing to your well-being as well.


General Recommendations for a Healthy Lifestyle:

Basically, one would need to maintain a proper weight or body mass index of 21-24 to have a reduced risk of cancer. To achieve this, a proper diet must be observed consistently along with sports activities. As much as possible, it is recommended to eat more fruits and vegetables and less red meat.

At all costs, processed meat and high levels of sweet foods must be avoided. One should also minimize alcohol intake, with the suggested amount of only 1-2 glasses per day. These recommendations must be taken very seriously, especially in people who have a high risk of developing cancer.

Effect of Sports on the Immune system:

Your body will become more resistant to diseases with a much healthier immune system in place with the help of sports and regular exercises. When your immune system, cell development, metabolism, and other bodily systems are regular and working, the chances of developing cancer will be reduced.

Studies Prove Reduced Cancer Risk:

Numerous experiments and research studies have shown that cancer can indeed be prevented by engaging in an active lifestyle. Studies prove that regular exercise reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Another study from the University of Southern California proved that physical movements used in exercises like swimming, running, and aerobics are beneficial to prevent breast cancer.

Exercise Program Preferences In Cancer Patients:

You need not be a professional athlete to perform an exercise; you can perform any sport that you feel like doing. Even with the diverse preferences of people, there are different types of sports for everyone. If you fancy social interaction, it is always advisable for you to join sports teams such as volleyball, basketball, football, or baseball.

For those who enjoy spending time with nature, you are most likely to enjoy hiking, jogging, and cycling. Stationary exercises such as yoga and tai chi also prove to be very beneficial, because they focus on respiration, mental balance, flexibility and overall body coordination. Whatever it is that you choose to partake in, just make sure that it allows you to use the body to its full capacity while you are having fun.

Research about the effects of a balanced exercise program in the rehabilitation, prevention and the impact it has on the immune system is still in its initial phase. Although, it is going to be one of the most active areas of the sports medicine research in the coming decade.

Conclusion:

The earlier you participate in sports, the healthier you become. Engaging in regular physical activity keeps your body fit at the same time expelling sweat that contains waste products. Therefore, with regular exercise, there will be a significant decrease in the risk of developing many types of cancers.

References:

  1. Exercise for cancer patients: a new challenge in sports medicine
  2. Physical activity and cancer
  3. American College of Sports Medicine roundtable on exercise guidelines for cancer survivors.
  4. Exercise for Cancer Patients

Dr. Adem Gunes Dr. Adem Gunes has built the world’s largest database of scientifically tested natural substances with proven effects in cancer treatments. In 2009, he was appointed as the Chief Physician of ProLife Clinic in Innsbruck, Austria, and played a key role in the establishment of the research laboratory. He is also the co-founder of the first Austrian hyperthermia center. Now, Dr. Adem works closely with cancer patients from around the world (including Germany, Thailand, Dubai) to recommend them a complementary cancer clinic or to create a personalized care plan for patients to follow at home.

Exercise – Important For The Breast Cancer Recovery Process

Exercise for Breast Cancer RecoveryLack of exercise is not what caused your cancer, so relax. If that were the case, the cancer rates would be so much larger. However, EXERCISE is very important to the recovery process and is also helpful in bringing the best attitude forward for the healing process. Coming eyeball to eyeball with cancer changes the perspective of quality of life. Thus, most of us are willing to do things for our own good in ways that we were not willing to before. Some of us love to EXERCISE and can’t wait to get to the gym or on our mountain bike. Others of us hate EXERCISE and have to be forced into doing it. I would wager that those of us who hate EXERCISE are EXERCISING for the wrong reasons and doing particular EXERCISES that we hate. So there are two goals here. First, discover an exercise you like or can tolerate because you feel good afterward. Second, set up your goal for your success.

If you are still in treatment your energy is lower but sitting or staying in bed all day only causes the toxins to build up. Walk for 10 minutes, or try walking 5 minutes a few times a day. Stretch. Lie in bed and move your body gently. Breathe. Yes, breathing is a form of exercise and Breast Cancer Yoga has a wonderful breathing CD. As you begin feeling better try Breast Cancer Yoga’s exercises for Yoga that are designed just for you, gentle lymphatic stretching. Get out of the house if even to just sit on the porch. Being outside moves your cells and allows them to enjoy fresh air versus the stale air from your AC or furnace. Listen to music and imagine yourself dancing to it and then gently move your muscles as if your muscles are dancing.

Post-treatment allow yourself to build up to 30 minutes of exercise a day. Start by doing 15 minutes, five days a week, then increase to two days for 3O minutes and continue to build up from there. Even though the lack of EXERCISE did not cause your cancer, let me be clear, EXERCISE, whether you like it or not, is important to your health. Thus, establish an EXERCISE habit as soon as possible after treatment so that it becomes a part of your new healthy lifestyle. The only rule needed is to EXERCISE at least thirty minutes a day whether you like it or not. The simplest way is to walk. Other than a good pair of shoes, walking EXERCISE does not require anything else and almost everyone can do it. If you can’t walk, then you need to discover other ways to EXERCISE. Stretching is a good choice and it does not require any fancy equipment. Yoga is also a great choice because it allows your body to detox the lymph system allowing those mutant cells to keep moving out of your body rather than getting stagnant and begin to build new tumors. Learning to make EXERCISE a part of your daily routine is a very important part of self-care. The goal is to EXERCISE more days a week than not. EXERCISE will help you stay flexible and healthy as you age. It is simple. The only goal is to do it. Don’t do it to lose weight, do it because you love yourself and because you are important.

Family members, it is not only important that you support your family member in an EXERCISE routine but that you too stay healthy by finding an EXERCISE activity that you enjoy and get out there and do it. Making EXERCISE a family affair will make it something fun and something to look forward to.

Last, when you get bored, change it out. If you get sick and can’t for a few days, get right back out there. If you miss a day, dance inside for 15 minutes anyway. MOVE your body as much as you can everyday.

Featured Photo Source: St. Louis Dispatch

Dr. Robin DilleyDr. Robin B. Dilley, author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer is a licensed psychologist in the State of Arizona. Her eclectic practice allows her to cross diagnostic barriers and meet clients in their need assisting them to respond to life in healthy and empowering ways rather than react to life’s circumstances.

The Benefits of Exercise During Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer

Benefits of Exercising During Radiotherapy for Breast CancerBy: David Mizrahi, Accredited Exercise Physiologist, specializing in exercise during chemotherapy and ovarian cancer.

Common side-effects of radiotherapy (RT) are fatigue, pain, shoulder instability, cardiac damage and reduced quality of life. The majority of these side effects will be improved by engaging in aerobic physical activity. An article published in 2008 by Ji Hyi Hwang in South Korea worked with breast cancer patients after surgery, who were about to commence RT.

Protocol:

  • Exercise consisted of 3x 50 minute sessions a week for 5 weeks
  • Each 50 minute session consisted of:
  • 10 minute warm up
  • 30 minutes exercise (treadmill walking, cycling, strength exercises, shoulder stretching)
  • 10 minute cool down (relaxation)

The main results were as follows:

Exercise RT

On each figure, the left bars indicate the non-exercising control groups – who experienced reduced quality of life, increased fatigue and worse pain

The right bars indicate the exercising group – who experienced IMPROVED quality of life, IMPROVED fatigue and HIGHER pain threshold. This is a two-fold swing right here. Furthermore, the exercising group had better upper arm flexibility – which is vital to be able to continue doing normal activities at home – driving, washing, going to shops, lifting things etc!

Here is the link below to the article:

http://synapse.koreamed.org/Synapse/Data/PDFData/0069YMJ/ymj-49-443.pdf

If you or somebody you know is undergoing or about to undergo radiotherapy, provide support, ask them to go for a walk with you. Go at their pace, doesn’t matter how fast, it is better than nothing. Once confident and building endurance, then you can start to go faster and you will start embracing some of the great benefits. Walking is safe and does not require supervision. If you wish to have a weights program prescribed to you, consider speaking with your physiotherapist, or certified exercise physiologist.

As always, please comment, ask questions, go for a walk, share this blog with a friend or family member, follow me and stay positive.

Additional Research:
Effects of exercise on breast cancer patients and survivors: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Effects of Supervised Exercise Therapy in Patients Receiving Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer
Suggested Reading:
Stretching For Cancer Survivors

David Mizrahi About David Mizrahi: David currently works as a Clinical Research Associate at The Sydney Children’s Hospital. David is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and received a Master of Science from the University of New South Wales.

Advice For Contacting David: Interested in consulting with oncology patients, as well as setting up exercise-based programs in hospitals and oncology clinics. Contact me for more information – E: d.mizrahi@unsw.edu.au or M: 0404177629.

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