Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fitness and Cancer

Guest post by Liz Davies:

Doctors and medical experts are finding, more and more, the benefits that exercise provides. This is true with cancer patients as well. People who are being treated for cancer are being encouraged to start an exercise plan. Doctors believe that there is a positive correlation between exercise and people going through cancer treatment. This belief is based primarily on the numerous studies conducted on this subject; which show that exercise actually increases the survival rates in people with cancer.

Many cancer treatments cause patients to feel fatigued, nauseous, and extremely weak. Along with these physical problems, cancer patients also often suffer from depression and other psychological problems. Exercise is often recommended to people suffering from these things; whether they have cancer or not. Studies are finding that exercise is one of the best activities that people can do to help with all types of problems. Studies have been conducted through major, credible organizations, including the American Cancer Society and the American College of Sports Medicine.

According to several studies, women, suffering from breast cancer, can often extend their lives through exercise. One common type of exercise for breast cancer patients is water exercises. Studies are now being done on other types of cancers such as liver, kidney and even rare types like testicular mesothelioma.

One main benefit of exercise is weight control. People that are overweight are often more prone to illnesses, including cancer. There are numerous other benefits for cancer patients as well, including increasing muscle strength, reducing fatigue, improving mood and boosting self-confidence.

Doctors often suggest that cancer patients begin an exercise routine as soon as they are diagnosed with cancer, if they do not have a regular exercise plan already. A doctor can help a person create a plan that works and is ideal for that person on an individual basis. Some exercises that are often recommended are stretching exercises. These are simple enough for almost anyone to do. Aerobic exercises, including swimming, walking and jogging, are also ideal for heart health. Finally, a doctor might recommend resistance training exercises, which include lifting weights, for many people. This helps people lose weight in fat, but gain muscle weight at the same time.

Many cancer patients may be reluctant to begin an exercise routine. Once they begin; however, they may naturally feel motivated to continue. They often begin to see positive signs, such as feeling better and a better frame of mind. This is often encouragement enough for the person to continue. It is also important for the families, of cancer patients, to be supportive by encouraging the person to continue the exercise routine they are on.

Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness. She became particularly interested in ways cancer patients can cope with the side-effects of their treatment after her mother became an oncology nurse for lung cancer.

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