May 3 2013

Responsible Fitness: Exercising During Cancer Treatments

We are happy to share a post with you all from our guest blogger, Melanie Bowen. Please continue to read on about the benefits of exercising during cancer treatments & check out Melanie’s other posts at mesothelioma.com where you will find posts about the benefits of alternative treatments on those diagnosed with cancer and other serious illnesses. 


Fitness and exercise feature heavily in a healthy lifestyle. 

You probably understand many of the benefits of exercising regularly when you are in good health, but when a critical health concern arises, you may not be sure what fitness level you should maintain. For cancer patients, regular exercise remains critical throughout treatment and into recovery. Studies indicate that those who exercise regularly throughout treatment report a considerably higher quality of life than those who do not. Unfortunately, few cancer patients are comfortable discussing exercise and fitness with their doctors.

Many factors will affect the necessary accommodations and appropriate exercise routine for you. Your type of cancer, overall fitness level and type of treatment should all be considered. For instance, if you have mesothelioma or another cancer that affects the lungs, you may need to minimize aerobic activity due to lung damage. If you have questions about how best to get physical exercise following your cancer diagnosis, consult your physician, who can connect you with programs designed for cancer patients and survivors. 

According to those at Cancer.gov, whether you are currently diagnosed or are in remission are sure to reap the benefits of regular daily exercise. For cancer patients, these include:
  • Maintained or increased flexibility and range of motion
  • Improved blood flow 
  • Increased energy and fewer symptoms of fatigue
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Better weight control
  • Lower risk of blood clots
  • Lessen nausea
  • Elevated mood and decreased anxiety and depression
Following your battle with cancer, when you have received a clean bill of health, your regular fitness routine continues to be important. Cancer survivors who exercise regularly tend to have a decreased incidence of recurrence. Studies on fitness in cancer survivors are ongoing, but some research already indicates that there may be a correlation between longevity in survivors and a regular exercise regime

Throughout your fight with cancer, many people will surround and support you. Only you, however, can take the steps necessary to get physically fit. Taking exercise seriously is your personal responsibility, and it will pay great dividends in return.