Here is a guest post by Melanie Bower about the benefits of exercise during cancer. Melanie is currently a Master’s student with a passion that stems from her grandmother’s cancer diagnosis. Recently she has been researching and writing about how staying physically fit can be extremely beneficial to people going through cancer treatments. To read more from Melanie, visit her blog for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.


Discover the Valuable Benefits Exercise Can Have for a Cancer Patient


If you are a cancer patient who is struggling with maintaining energy and mobility during your cancer treatments, exercise might be a helpful option for you.  Over the past few decades, more and more scientific studies have shown that exercise can drastically benefit a wide range of cancer patients ranging from those diagnosed with leukemia, breast cancer, and even those diagnosed with rare forms of mesothelioma.  Exercise plays a vital role in improving energy levels and increasing physical function.  Getting active also is a great way to relieve stress and to enjoy socializing with people you love.  If it’s time for you to get more physically active, there are numerous activity options to consider.

How Often Should You Exercise?

Determining how often a week to exercise is a challenge that many people face, especially if you are committed to chemotherapy or radiation treatments on a weekly basis. It is important to be flexible and to exercise in a manner and time frame that is comfortable for you.  While it is a good idea to do anything you can to get motivated to work out, it is also important not to start out with an extreme fitness schedule.  Starting moderate exercise activities and gradually raising the bar on intensity and length is advisable if you are struggling with pain, fatigue or discomfort.


Yoga is Beneficial


Each morning, make an effort to participate in a yoga activity for ten minutes.  If ten minutes seems too much of a physical challenge, reduce it down a few minutes.  Yoga is an ideal activity to stretch and tone the muscles, and it is also helpful for reducing inflammation around the joints.  Yoga also is a great meditating form of exercise that will give you a chance to focus on breathing and centering yourself.  This is an ideal way to allow stress to go away each morning as you prepare to start your day.


Add in a Cardio Exercise


The MD Anderson Cancer Center covers the importance of alternating exercise activities on a regular basis.  Making a commitment to try to work out for 30 minutes or longer can begin showing results by toning bodies and controlling weight.  If you are currently physically unable to work out for this period of time, starting somewhere and trying to increase the length of your exercises over time will be vastly beneficial.  

Incorporating cardio workouts into your weekly routine will enhance the way you feel, both physically and mentally.  Some great cardio workouts include jogging, playing tennis, and swimming.