Sunday, April 15, 2012

Benefits of Exercise for Cancer Patients

Exercise has been long believed to be a great health benefit aside from just improving cardiovascular strength and controlling weight. It has also been shown to improve a person's overall mood and help fight a wide range of other diseases including depression, allergies and IBS. Of course exercise does not actually cure diseases, but research has determined that the way the body reacts to exercise can help combat illness.

Recently, some studies have shown a link between adults getting regular exercise (i.e., thirty to sixty minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each day) can significantly reduce one's chances of developing certain types of cancer including colon and breast cancer. Exercise can also be quite beneficial for people who have already developed cancer or pre-cancerous tumors. Health care professionals believe there are certain reasons for this phenomenon. For example, exercise releases a large amount of positive endorphins in the body that can help increase one's positive mood and reduce any pain that was being felt. Additionally, being physically fit gives the body more strength to fight off disease.

It is important to understand that though the national guidelines recommend a fairly ambitious plan of exercising close to an hour every day, even a small amount of light exercise can make a difference in a person's life and help fight off disease. This is especially important for people who already feel very sick or have trouble breathing or moving, like when receiving mesothelioma treatment. Simply walking around for a few minutes everyday can help a person build physical strength and also improve a person's mood and outlook on life. Modern medicine is finally beginning to embrace the idea that a person's mental state has a great impact on their physical state. Since exercise releases certain endorphins that create a natural "high", the brain will help to body react more positively to traditional treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. Exercise has also been shown to help reduce the negative side effects that are often associated with these treatments.

For any person with higher risk factors for cancer or an existing cancerous tumor, they should talk to their doctors about how they should work exercise into their normal routine. Of course, during cancer treatment is not the ideal time to begin a rigorous exercise routine or intense training program. This is why it is important to work closely with a doctor to understand one's physical limits and create a routine that meets their needs without introducing additional harm to their body. For a person that does not currently have cancer, this information can serve as another reminder of the overall benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and continuing to participate in some type of physical activity on a daily basis.

David Hass, you can follow David's posts at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance page. His goal is to help others going through their battle with cancer.


Devante Rylee said...

The cancer patient should use caution and consult with their physician before undertaking an exercise program. exercise is reduce pain and It really improves our blood circulation. Cancer patients may have to start with a low to moderate intensity and build up from there.

Candida Abrahamson said...

I think this is such an important topic to address that I'm so pleased you blogged about it--and so well. I spent significant time looking into it, and if you want more research to support the help exercise provides please take a look at my post on exercise and cancer at We can't encourage people enough to lace up those shoes and get going.

kaney said...

If you happen to be wondering, what is mesothelioma cancer, it is a form of this disease that primarily attacks the lungs, stomach, or heart. It is contracted by coming in contact with a substance called asbestos.

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