Friday, February 15, 2013

Guest Post: The Advantages of Exercising During Cancer Treatment by Melanie Bowen

I was approached by Melanie Bowen a few days ago with an email that read :
"I ran across your blog and noticed the great content on your site. I am wondering if you allow guest posts because I recently have been researching and writing about how staying physically fit can be extremely beneficial to people going through cancer treatments. Exercise can be a conduit for healing of many different diseases (including cancer) by giving back energy levels, reducing stress, creating better blood flow, etc. I truly believe an article on fitness while going through cancer will benefit your readers tremendously. This is an important message to get out there so please let me know if you would be interested in seeing it and sharing it with your readers"

Being that Cancer is a huge part of all of our lives and affects us all in one way or another, I thought it was a great idea to discuss the benefits that health and fitness can have on those going through the treatments. 

"Each different cancer has its limitations, but if one can keep a healthy body, they can have a better chance to overcome this awful disease"- Melanie Bowen

Here is Melanie's article:

Fatigue is one of the most common side effects of cancer treatments, and often one of the main reasons why cancer patients cannot go about their daily routines. However, regardless of the treatment, patients can take steps to feel better both mentally and physically. Exercise in general helps people to maintain overall good health. Likewise, exercise helps cancer patients who need to maintain their strength as they undergo intense chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

The advantages of exercise during cancer treatment are both physical and mental. It is easy for the muscles to lose strength and endurance, especially during aggressive chemotherapy or radiation. Therefore, it is important to incorporate some sort of strength training into your workout routine. Aerobic exercise can improve endurance without putting too much strain on the body. It can also improve cardiovascular health and circulation.

Exercising during a chemical treatment also provides numerous emotional and psychological benefits. Cancer patients are more likely to become depressed and emotionally drained than those who have not been diagnosed. Exercising for any reason is a way to control their lives and boost their mood again. Exerting yourself releases endorphins, which allow you to sleep better, decrease stress levels, and boost your mood so patients will have a more positive outlook on their situation.

When people go through rigorous treatment regimens, they may feel like they can barely walk across the room. However, their restraints should not prevent them from becoming active in some way. Patients should work with medical professionals who can determine the right exercise plan for their situation. It is important to determine the frequency of the exercises, along with the length and intensity of the sessions. An average training program only takes half an hour out of the day. It is ideal to start with small exercises and over time increase the intensity of a routine according to doctor recommendations.

Obviously, cancer patients should not start any routine without checking with their doctors first. Once an exercise routine has been established, patients should not change anything without consultation. Along with exercise, nutrition is another important component of a long-term treatment plan. There are all types of cancers, from breast cancer to mesothelioma, which cause all kinds of problems. Whether patients are going through diagnoses, treatments or remissions, they will benefit from good health and exercise.

Melanie Bowen

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