1.8 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer every year. Regular exercise can benefit virtually any cancer survivor or patient. Research has shown that exercise reduces fatigue for people undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment. Moreover, regular exercise prevents unnecessary weight gain during the cancer treatment process. But how do you conduct this exercise? Here are tips on how you can exercise regularly during and after your cancer treatment.
Choose the Right Time
Some cancer patients experience multiple infections from the same cancer strain. Thankfully, exercising can curb this problem. That is because exercising enhances sleep patterns, improves your mood, and prevents anxiety. These are the things that lead to a recurrence of cancer in many patients. It would help if you didn’t wait until your cancer treatment is over before engaging in exercise activities. Unless you feel extreme pain, you should start with light fitness routines, such as yoga and stretching. As soon as your condition improves, you can move to other activities.
It is not wise to start your exercise routine with extraneous activities. Experts recommend that you start with slow exercises as you gauge your progress. For instance, you can do yoga in the morning and stretch in the evening. After repeating this routine for two to three months, you can then move on to more vigorous workouts. The recommended vigorous workouts include cycling, jogging, and aerobic activities. It has been proven that these activities help cancer patients to lose weight and build muscles. Besides, you can enhance your cardiovascular strength to prevent heart diseases. If you feel strong enough after a few weeks, there is no harm in taking resistance training workouts. These workouts are ideal for bone mass enhancement and muscle building. However, it’s a good idea to put off these exercises until you’re fully recovered from cancer.
Should You Do Specific Resistance Training Activities?
Each patient has a unique cancer treatment program. Therefore, it is complicated to prescribe a general resistance training program for cancer patients. Nevertheless, a few workouts can benefit the majority of cancer patients. In particular, you should focus on any resistance training targeting hamstrings and quads. While you are doing this, keep in mind that your physician must approve any resistance training to avoid injuries.
Select a Realistic Workout Timeline
Cancer patients can engage in three hours of light exercises every week. Generally, you should engage in a particular exercise at least once every three days. You shouldn’t strain your body; if you feel like you can’t take it anymore, pause and resume later.
Types of Exercises
Here are the recommended exercises for cancer patients:
- Breathing Exercises – It’s not uncommon for people with cancer to complain about breathing difficulties. You can choose to take some medication to cure these breathing difficulties. Another solution is to engage in regular breathing exercises. These exercises are meant to improve your lungs and eliminate anxieties.
- Stretching – People who stretch regularly have improved posture and flexibility. Their blood vessels widen and become stronger. Consequently, they can transport more oxygen and blood to various muscles. This will help them combat damaged tissues and rejuvenate their body. Stretching is very important for people who have just come from finishing cancer treatment because some cancer treatment types affect muscles.
- Balance Exercises – Cancer treatment can affect your body’s ability to balance itself. In that light, it’s a good idea to engage in regular balance exercises. Such exercises will rejuvenate your body’s mobility and prevent injuries.
- Aerobic Exercises – Aerobic exercises will increase your heart rate. An increased heart rate bolsters your blood vessels, lungs, and heart. Eventually, your fatigue will go away as you take part in aerobic exercises. Most doctors recommend that cancer patients work for about 50 minutes every week.
How to Exercise Safely
Exercise can be beneficial, but it’s also hazardous. You need to do it cautiously to avoid any injuries. As a result, you should be aware of several things. First, you should progress slowly. Even if you feel strong enough to move to resistance training, it is wise to keep things slow. Build your muscles and energy for a few months before you can attempt other exercises.
Another precaution is exercising in a safe environment. It is common for chemotherapy and radiation therapy to attack and weaken your immune system. Consequently, things such as germs can cause illness. For that reason, avoid gyms and other public exercising arenas. The germs can also be present in your home. Exercising is one thing but making sure that the water that you drink is also safe from germs and viruses as it caused health problems to a great number of people.
Undergoing cancer treatment can be depressing, challenging, and demanding. Thankfully, there are many cancer survivors around the world. Regularly exercising is one of the things that you can do to become and remain a cancer survivor.