Four Benefits of Exercise for Individuals with Cancer
Exercise can be a safe and effective way to help manage the side effects of cancer and its treatments. The great thing about exercise is that it can be used before, during and after all types of treatment and for any cancer. Here are four benefits of exercise for individuals with cancer:
1. Combat Fatigue
Cancer-related fatigue is one of the main side effects that patients deal with, no matter the type of cancer or treatment they receive. Research supports exercise as a first-line treatment for fatigue. The key is to start small and work your way up. Introduce activity into every day, make your goal to start at a minimum of 10 minutes of daily light walking, even on days when you feel incredibly fatigued, then eventually work up to the moderate intensity exercise.
2. Improve Overall Function
Muscular strength and endurance, as well as heart function and efficiency, can be affected by cancer and its treatments. To maintain the ability to be independent and perform basic activities of daily living, we need our bodies to be strong. Regular exercise can help enhance function and is recommended for the best health.
3. Decrease Treatment Side Effects
Regular exercise has been shown to help improve recovery from surgery and decrease and manage the side effects of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy. The key is to start moving and add regular exercise into your daily life. Loss in muscle mass, weight gain, loss of range of motion, neuropathy and many other side effects can be managed with specific exercises, be sure to consult a trained exercise professional for specific exercises.
4. Feel Better
Regular exercise has been shown to improve many things that will make you feel better when it’s normal not to feel at your best. Exercise can improve mood and decrease feelings of depression, anxiety and stress. Additionally, it can help maintain strength, improve quality of life and manage other chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Exercise is an energy booster, and a mix of resistance and aerobic training is recommended to give you the best results.
At Treloar, our cancer recovery program offers individualized one-on-one sessions and group classes. Suppose sessions are booked with Ayesha Koome, a Certified Athletic Therapist. In that case, you may get coverage through extended medical providers such as Great West Life, Sunlife, Manulife and Greenshield.