[Guest Post] Stay Healthy During Cancer Treatment

Here is a nice article my friend Melanie wrote and asked if I wouldn’t mind sharing on my blog.  [insert ‘these are her views/opinions/advice’ disclaimer here :) ]  She talks about the importance of exercise for people battling cancer.  I’m not a doctor, but it makes really good sense to me.  Keep exercising, keep your system working, keep your immune system going, keep pushing the toxins out.  Seems like a smart strategy for everyone, especially people who are fighting that disease.

Many people are aware of the many benefits that exercise will provide. From reducing stress levels, increasing energy levels, shedding unwanted pounds, and reducing the chances of getting heart disease, exercise plays a vital role in a person’s overall health. Healthcare professionals have always advised people to exercise to reduce their chances of getting cancer; however, if people were diagnosed with cancer, these same healthcare professionals used to advise people to refrain from doing any type of strenuous activity. Since the cancer treatment would take so much energy from them, they were advised to do as little as possible in order to save some of their strength. However, this advisory information has changed today with more and more research. Cancer patients are encouraged to continue to exercise during and after their cancer treatment. Exercise will actually provide them with more energy, muscle strength, and the ability for their bodies to fight off future invading cancer cells.

In contrast to research of the past, cancer patients should exercise to increase their energy levels during cancer treatment. Even though one of the main side effects of chemotherapy and radiation is fatigue, exercise will help to reduce these symptoms. In order to maintain a good quality of life, patients must have energy. As they exercise, their bodies will produce hormones that will allow them to feel better mentally and physically. As a result, patients are more willing to respond positively to their cancer treatment.

Furthermore, research also suggests that patients should try to exercise outside. As opposed to an indoor gym, breathing in fresh air from outdoors will provide more of an energy boost and also reduce the likelihood of infection. Before engaging in any type of fitness routine, it is important that patients discuss their plans with their physicians. The cancer treatment for mesothelioma may be much more aggressive than treatment for other diseases; therefore, patients may not be able to withstand the same vigorous activities as others. However, all patients should talk to their doctor and engage in some type of light to moderate cardio exercises consistently.

Due to the many drugs that will enter the system from the cancer treatment, many patients will develop fragile bones and weak muscles. In order to prevent injuries, it is important to engage in some type of strength training activity. Strength training can be lifting weights or even yoga exercises. As the body begins to get stronger, the chances of experiencing any type of bone fractures will be greatly reduced. Furthermore, as the patients begin to strengthen their muscles, their bodies will be able to handle the many side effects of the treatment better.

Finally, patients should exercise to allow their immune systems to be strengthened. After many weeks and months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, the immune system will be in a weakened state. With cancer, there is always the possibility of having it return. As patients participate in cardio and strength training exercises, their immune systems’ ability to fight off diseases will be increased.

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