Here’s a guest post from David Haas about physical activity and cancer.
Many people are under the misconception that those with cancer are required to rest as much as possible and avoid over doing it. In the past, doctors did inform their cancer patients to stay in bed, not do anything strenuous and to take it easy. But that has changed; doctors are informing even their patients with the most rare forms of cancer, such as mesothelioma, to get up and exercise. The reason is that the health benefits of exercise for those that are suffering from cancer are numerous; fitness is a great complement to traditional cancer treatments. It is not a cure for cancer but it can make the treatment process easier for patients.
The first reason that fitness is so important for those with cancer is the overall health benefit it has. Every doctor on earth informs every patient – healthy or sick – on earth to get some exercise. The reason for is that exercise can improve a person’s health. The healthier a person is, the less they get sick. Exercise and fitness help to build a person’s immune system, which makes it easier for them to avoid common illnesses such as the col. A strong immune system makes cancer treatment more bearable. Additionally, a person that exercises has a fitter, healthier body from the outside as well as the inside; this is crucial.
The second reason that doctors want their cancer patients to exercise is that it will help to alleviate their treatment symptoms. Common cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation come with a number of side effects that include everything from fatigue to nausea and vomiting. Those that get plenty of exercise have stronger immune systems and can handle the treatment better, which minimizes their chances of experiencing these side effects. Even though it is likely that a person undergoing cancer treatment will be very tired from time to time, exercise is still important; even if it consists of a walk around the block. All it takes to get healthy is 150 minutes a week.
Perhaps the most important reason cancer patients should exercise while they undergo treatment is the effect fitness has on their moods and their quality of life. Those who exercise are medically proven to have a better mindset than those who do not exercise. A better mood means a better quality of life, which is something doctors want their cancer patients to have. Those with a better quality of life have better chances of beating their cancer. Additionally, 150 minutes of exercise each week can reduce the risk of suffering a reoccurrence of cancer by up to 40 percent in the future; there is no better reason than this to get up and get fit.