Today’s post is a guest post from Melanie Bowden. Melanie is a regular blogger for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog. She reached out to me recently about guest blogging and I loved the idea of Zen Barbell highlighting the importance of moving your body in ways that make you healthy and happy even in the face of a serious illness.
Cancer and Physical Fitness – By Melanie Bowden
The benefits of regular exercise are now known as one of the best ways of ensuring good health. A diagnosis of cancer may seem like a sudden stop to your efforts to remain healthy, but the truth is, physical fitness can have a profound effect on your ability to fight cancer before, during and after treatment.
What Exercise Can Do For You
Medical researchers have documented the benefits of regular exercise in many studies. They have found that exercise can help:
- Maintain normal weight
- Reduce blood pressure
- Regulate blood sugar
- Strengthen bones
- Improve muscle strength
- Prevent stiffness in joints
- Promote psychological wellbeing.
These benefits accrue over time and continue well into your later years. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that adults in moderate physical activity of some kind for at least 30 minutes each day for five days during the week. If you prefer, you can also do 20 minutes of high intensity activity for three or more days during the week. Either way, you will reap the many benefits that coincide with regular exercise, and you will begin to see noticeable improvements over time.
In addition, researchers are also finding that regular exercise can reduce the incidence of some types of cancer, most notably breast cancer and colon cancer. They are also finding links in reduced incidence of prostate cancer among men. No matter what type of cancer a patient has, exercise can prove to beneficial even in the smallest doses. For example, patients diagnosed with lung cancer and mesothelioma can benefit from short weight lifting sessions, or those battling leukemia can try yoga to help physically and mentally. No matter what the diagnosis, it is important to speak with a doctor and develop a plan of action.
Benefits of Exercise During Cancer Treatment
A diagnosis of cancer can be a life-changing event. People who often neglected their health may begin to examine their lifestyle and make serious changes to ensure that they can go through treatment with the best chance of making a full recovery. A number of studies indicate that physical fitness in preparation for treatment can make patients stronger and less apt to suffer from the side effects of treatment procedures such as chemotherapy and radiation. Exercise can increase energy levels, reduce fatigue and may even help prevent recurrence of cancer after treatment. Research is making a strong case for continuing your physical fitness program throughout the diagnosis, treatment and post-treatment periods.
To contact Melanie or find more information about exercise and cancer go here!