Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fight it with Fitness

One of my readers has submitted this information to aid those battling cancer. I hope you find it helpful.

Thanks, David, for your article. Now, I’ve gotta go work out! Grin.

Using Fitness to Combat Cancer Treatment Symptoms

While it's true that vigorous exercise alone will not prevent or cure cancer, there are several reasons to stay as fit as possible both during your cancer treatment and for the rest of your life. Regular exercise not only helps ease the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, it also helps stop the wasting of lean muscle mass needed to perform everyday activities. Here's what you need to know about staying fit while fighting cancer.

Exercise Can Benefit Everyone

It doesn't matter if you have mesothelioma, prostate cancer, or leukemia, exercise has been proven time and time again to combat fatigue, increase immunity, and both maintain and build lean muscle mass that is crucial to remaining as independent as possible. Exercise also increases cardiovascular health, which is crucial for withstanding grueling treatments.

You Will Notice a Difference

Many patients with cancer complain of severe exhaustion, a loss of appetite, and a feeling of depression or despondency. All of these symptoms can be treated with the natural endorphins that are released with exercise. Cancer patients who walk briskly on a regular basis or visit the gym are less likely to experience nausea. Fit women who were living with or in remission from breast cancer were found to have more regular hormones when compared to unfit women with larger body fat stores.

Talk to Your Doctor about Getting Fit

Although over half of cancer patients report that their oncologist never discussed an exercise program with them, 84% of respondents said they would have liked to talk about it. While there are so many benefits to an exercise program before, during, and after chemotherapy, radiation, or other treatments to fight your cancer, you can't reap those benefits if you don't have a plan. Your doctor will be able to make suggestions as to what is an appropriate level of exercise. As with any exercise program, it's important you discuss any negative side effects with your doctor.

Keeping fit during your cancer treatments and for the rest of your life afterward will not cure cancer, but the positive effects are well documented. Staying fit will allow you to keep your stamina to do everyday task, help increase your appetite, and give you relief from fatigue. Talk to you oncologist about a suitable exercise plan. It's never too late to start on a journey to a healthier you.

By: David Haas

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