Fitness for People Undergoing Cancer Treatment and In Remission (by Guest Blogger David Haas)
It's a well-known fact that physical fitness is very important to the health and well-being of a person, but a commitment to regular exercise and proper nutrition often falls by the wayside when one is diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease such as cancer. Many lose hope when they are faced with such a diagnosis, and with that they lose all motivation to remain physically fit. After all, if a person is going to die, what good is an exercise regimen?
The truth is that just as physical fitness is beneficial to a healthy person, it can also be a very powerful tool for cancer patients and survivors. While there aren't any exercises that will work as a "miracle cure" for cancer, regular exercise can work wonders for cancer patients and survivors and aid in their recovery.
One of the most difficult aspects of living with cancer is how to deal with the often-debilitating side effects of treatments such as chemotherapy. These treatments often leave patients feeling physically ill and fatigued, and they can cause other side effects such as insomnia and a loss of muscle mass. The physical discomfort associated with cancer treatment as well as the psychological effects of being diagnosed with cancer in the first place can also be incredibly stressful. All of this can give a loss of motivation or even the perceived inability to maintain a regular exercise regimen. However, research has indicated that regular exercise can indeed be very beneficial to a cancer patient. More and more doctors are recommending regular exercise as a palliative cancer treatment, and organizations such as the YMCA have begun exercise programs that are specifically tailored for cancer patients and survivors.
Of course, regular physical activity is easier for some cancer patients than it is for others. For example, a breast cancer survivor will be more physically able to exercise regularly than someone with an advanced case of mesothelioma. It would be wise for any cancer survivor or patient to engage in at least some physical exercise, however. Regular exercise builds muscle tone, reduces stress, helps treat insomnia and generally improves a person's sense of well-being. Cancer and its treatment often does the exact opposite to a person, which is why regular exercise is more important than ever for a cancer survivor. Recent studies have also shown that being physically fit can reduce the recurrence of cancer in survivors as well as prevent the onset of cancer in the first place.
A cancer diagnosis is always difficult to hear, and living with cancer can be incredibly painful and stressful. Regular exercise is not necessarily a miracle cancer treatment, but it can go a long way in aiding recovery.