Guest Blog: Exercise for Cancer Patients

6 04 2013

Today’s guest blog is from Melanie Bowen, a Masters student with a passion for combatting cancer that stems from her grandmother’s diagnosis. She often highlights the great benefits of alternative nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness. You can follow her work from a number of links found here.

Anytime a person is diagnosed with cancer, whether it be anything from breast cancer to mesothelioma, learning to create a moderate fitness schedule can make a tremendous difference in how well a person feels while going through cancer treatments.  Common treatments for cancer often include a change in diet, many months of chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and even surgeries.  It often requires a combination of all treatment options in order for a person with cancer to be able to beat the disease.  Because treatments are exhausting and take a heavy physical toll on the body, developing an exercise plan to remain fit and to have adequate energy levels is extremely important.

Establish a Proper Nutritious Menu to Gain Energy for Workout Routines

Changing a diet to include a healthy mixture of fruits and vegetables will be beneficial to boosting energy levels.  Nutrition is important when a person is going through cancer treatments because it can stimulate the body and give it healthy proteins and antioxidants that are helpful in fighting many types of cancer.  In addition to this benefit, excellent sources of nutrition also ward off feelings of exhaustion and weakness.  When a person is able to increase energy levels through eating healthy foods, more energy is available to participate in fitness routines.

Begin an Enjoyable and Moderate Fitness Schedule

A cancer patient has enough bad things to worry about without creating a fitness plan that the person dreads.  Developing an enjoyable and stimulating fitness plan will do wonders to boost motivation levels and to inspire the person to get active as often as possible.  Human Kinetics released a professional, informative publication that details how beneficial exercise is to the cancer patient.  In the article, exercise is regarded as a form of rehabilitation that effectively improves quality of life and often is successful at reducing major signs of fatigue and exhaustion.

Beginner Level Exercises for Cancer Patients to Consider

Even if a person was a regular fitness buff before entering into cancer treatments, it may be necessary to begin physical activities that are very mild while a person is going through rounds of chemotherapy or surgery.  Mild exercises that are helpful include mall walking, yoga, and bicycling.  Switching up routines every week will help to keep a cancer patient motivated and inspired. So talk to your doctor today to develop a fun and beneficial physical plan!

>> Read more posts by Melanie about managing cancer


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2 responses

11 08 2013
Dan @ NYC Qigong

You may also consider looking into Qigong and it’s health benefits.

15 09 2013
Adele Kirby Fitness

Absolutely, Dan – I very much enjoyed Qigong a few years ago.

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