This guest post is written by David Haas, a cancer support group and awareness program advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.
David blogs about programs and campaigns underway at the Mesothelioma's Cancer Alliance, as well as creative fitness ideas for those dealing with cancer.
Throughout the various stages of cancer, a person can benefit from having a fitness routine in place. For cancer patients, the treatment process required can be draining. This is why it's important for all patients to make a deliberate effort to improve their physical health after receiving treatment with exercise.
Because patients regularly struggle with muscle fatigue and depleted energy levels during recovery, low impact exercise is encouraged. According to a 2005 article published in the Online Journal Issues of Nursing, low impact exercise can help a person regain his or her physical strength during recovery. Low impact exercises like Tai Chi or cycling with moderate resistance training help patients recover from the disease.
Extensive research shows that cancer patients recovering from breast cancer or colorectal cancer live longer when they incorporate regular exercise into their daily routine. The evidence suggests that the chances of cancer reoccurring in patients receiving breast cancer or mesothelioma treatment are reduced with a solid exercise routine in place.
In a recent report issued by the UK-based Macmillan Cancer Support group, the importance of physical activity is underscored. Breast cancer patients can reduce the likelihood of recurrence by 40% with just 150 minutes of exercise daily. In bowel cancer patients, only six hours of moderate physical activity throughout the week was enough to reduce the risk of death and recurrence by as much as 50%. Prostate cancer patients can reduce their risks by 30% with moderate physical activity.
Not only does exercise help with physical recovery from cancer, but their are additional long-term health benefits associated with increased physical activity. Cancer patients are better able to fight depression, improve sleeping patterns, and reduce overall stress with regular exercise. Issues such as nausea, self-esteem and diarrhea are better controlled with a fitness routine.
The American Cancer Society suggests that individuals receive a minimum of five workouts per week at 30-minute intervals. Low intensity exercise throughout recovery helps patients improve both physical and mental well-being, while reducing the risk of recurrence.