Saturday, April 28, 2012

Incorporate Exercise into Your Cancer Battle Plan

Fighting cancer is not only painful, but it can greatly disrupt your quality of life. Maintaining your fitness level is one of the best things you can do to improve both your physical and mental well-being during cancer, whether you have just been diagnosed, are being treated, or have entered remission. There are fitness techniques for all levels, even if you are new to exercise. It is important to be mindful of your body to prevent any injuries, and to discuss all routines with your doctor before getting started.

Light Cardio

Light to moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercises are appropriate for cancer patients of a variety of backgrounds. These kinds of workouts get your heart going just enough for you to reap the cardiovascular benefits without overdoing it. Plus, light cardio can reduce fatigue associated with cancer treatments, as well as alleviate insomnia. Taking a daily walk is one of the least energy-exerting kinds of exercises because you can control your own pace and go as far as you see fit. Swimming is also a great option because it reduces pressure on the joints, and the water can be soothing.

Moderate Intensity

Once you have tried out some light exercising, you may be fit enough to increase the intensity level. This can be as simple as walking at a quicker pace, or completing more laps in the swimming pool. If your walk has become more of a trot in recent days, you may also consider turning towards running. The more fit you are, the better prepared you may be to go through cancer treatments. Plus, the stress-reducing effects of moderate-intensity exercises can help you get through any cancer hurdles. 

Alternative Workouts

Some cancer patients turn to alternative workouts that are less strenuous, such as yoga and tai chi. Both exercises are safe for most patients, and they have some of the same benefits as regular aerobic workouts. It is important that you take the practice slow, and avoid performing any moves that are painful or that strain the chest muscles. 

Safety Considerations

Fitness routines have many benefits for cancer patients, but it is also important to know your own limits in order to avoid any injuries. If you are new to exercise, start with 10 to 15 minutes per day, and gradually increase this amount to 30 minutes. Also, if you are not comfortable exercising every day, aim for the majority of days within the week. It is important to discuss any new exercises you may be thinking about with your primary physician or oncologist. He can help make suggestions in order to you to increase your fitness level while staying safe, whether you are battling skin cancer, breast or prostate cancer, or mesothelioma related lung cancer.

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