Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Very Important Message Liz Davies

I was approached a few weeks ago by a lady who asked if she could be a guest poster to this blog about the benfits of exercise for cancer.  It took me less than 2 seconds to say yes.  I'm not a hater but I HATE cancer.  It is so prevalent and discriminates against no one.  So thank you Liz for your contribution!!  Also check it our under my profile on Facebook - Bubba Sparks

Benefits of Exercise for Cancer Patients
There are many ways that cancer and its treatment are debilitating. However, scientists are increasingly finding that one simple thing can improve the quality of life for cancer patients: exercise. Doctors are prescribing exercise to their cancer patients, even during the course of treatment. The following is a guide to all the benefits that exercise has to offer cancer patients.

Improved Energy:
Many of the treatments for cancer, such as chemotherapy and radiation, have a tendency to leave patients feeling lethargic, even exhausted. The disease itself can have the same effect. Scientists have found that frequent exercise leads to the same energy boosting benefits in cancer sufferers that it does in healthy individuals. The guidelines suggest that 150 minutes of activity a week improves the energy level of patients in all phases of their treatment process.

Better Body Image and Body Composition:
Cancer and its treatments can have horrible effects on a person’s body. Some people will gain weight and some people can waste away. Chemotherapy leads to hair loss. These effects can leave people feeling horrible about the way they look. All of these people can benefit from the body strengthening effects of exercise. This is especially important for people with wasting cancers, such as gastrointestinal cancer, that have a detrimental impact on lean muscle mass. Strength training exercises will benefit most cancer patients, shaping their body into something they will feel good about.

Emotional Relief:
The stress, both physical and emotional, of cancer and its treatment is a major reason that cancer patients have high levels of depression. One of the best ways to fight both stress and depression is through physical activity. Cancer patients who regularly participate in an exercise program are much more likely to avoid the major depression that often occurs in cancer victims. There are also many support groups for most types of cancer, including mesothelioma support groups.

Prevention of Reoccurrence:
As well as the benefits it offers during the course of cancer treatment, exercise has also been proven to reduce the chances of reoccurrence of cancer in the future. The benefits are found not only when individuals are done with treatment. Exercise during the course of treatment has been shown to lessen the odds that the cancer will come back.

Recommendations for Exercise:
The American Cancer Society recommends that cancer patients should engage in 150 minutes of physical activity a week. This should be a good balance of both strength training and aerobic activity. Swimming, walking and hiking are all great activities for patients to try. The American Cancer Society offers a certification for physical trainers that want to work with cancer patients. Patients can contact them to find a personal trainer in their area who will know exactly how to tailor a workout regime to a cancer patient’s needs.

Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness. She became particularly interested in ways cancer patients can cope with the side-effects of their treatment after her mother became an oncology nurse for lung cancer.

Helful Links

high levels of depression
mesothelioma support groups
The American Cancer Society

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