Written by Melanie Bowen. Melanie Bowen is a member of the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance as an awareness advocate for natural health and cancer cure initiatives. Connect with Melanie
Exercise is beneficial to everyone and it can be especially helpful for those who are facing cancer treatment. A cancer patient may not be able to engage in vigorous exercise for long periods of time. The most important thing to keep in mind is that even light physical activity can have many benefits. The main focus should be to remain active even through cancer treatments. During certain treatments, activity may include walking or other light activities for shorter periods of time. As a person begins to feel better or isn’t suffering harsh side effects of treatment, activity may be increased.
An obvious benefit of regular physical activity is weight control. Those who are overweight may experience harsher side effects of cancer treatment than those of a normal weight. Therefore, a regular fitness regime can reduce or maintain one’s weight, which will reduce the negative side effects of treatment.
Exercise is important in maintaining physical health as well as mental health. Regular exercise increases strength and endurance and organs, such as the heart, are able to better function. A person who exercises regularly has increased energy levels and can counter the effects of some cancer treatments, which can cause extreme fatigue. Regular exercise also leads to a more restful sleep. The body is able to rest and repair itself during sleep so it is crucial to get the proper amount of rest. Another important benefit of exercise is that it helps in relieving stress. The challenges faced by a cancer patient, especially during treatment, can create a stressful situation, which often leads to depression. A person who remains active during cancer treatments will be able to combat the negative mental effects of cancer and treatment.
It has been proven that exercise can be a motivator in cancer patients because they want to remain active and continue to feel better. It gives patients something to look forward to and a way to work toward regaining their health.
Cancer patients must consult with their physician regarding a proper fitness regime. Certain cancer treatments, such as those associated with treatment of mesothelioma, can limit the amount of physical activity that a person is able to do. A physician can inform a patient of the safest and most effective exercise plan based on current health and type of treatment that is received.