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by admin - March 12th, 2009.
Filed under: Cancer. Tagged as: .

What Are the Benefits of Exercise While Recovering from Cancer Treatment?

There are many potential benefits to exercising. Exercise

• increases how much you can do (your functional capacity)

• minimizes or prevents disabilities associated with treatment and with being out of condition

• preserves muscle mass, strength, and endurance

• improves circulation

• possibly enhances the immune system

• improves your appetite

• enhances your sense of well-being

• helps reduce stress

• relieves tension and anger

• releases endorphins; which are your body’s natural pain killers and antidepressants

• helps restore your sense of control •improves your self-esteem and self-image

What Kind of Exercise Should I Do?

Your choice of exercise will depend on your level of fitness, any physical limitations, the available facilities, and your preference. Walking, stationary cycling, and swimming are especially good if you are beginning an exercise program. A basic exercise program should include

• a warm-up period with stretching exercises and light aerobics

• aerobic exercise such as walking, cycling, stair stepping, or swimming

• strengthening exercises such as weight lifting using resistance equipment

• a cool-down period

Are There Any Risks to Exercising?

You must be cleared for an exercise program and advised regarding its specifics, in order to prevent

• bleeding complications if your blood counts are too low

• injury to muscle, bone, or ligaments if you are not ready for certain exercises or not supervised in their proper execution

• heart problems, such as heart attack or heart failure

• lung problems

In general,

• you should start off slow and easy, building up gradually

• you should not be very winded, stiff, or exhausted following your exercise program

• you should check with your doctor before continuing an exercise program if you have a new pain, a new symptom, or an aggravation of a preexisting symptom or problem

• if you have been sick, such as with a cold, flu, diarrhea, or other temporary illness, wait until you have felt well for two days before resuming exercise

• do not exercise if you have a fever


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