Physical activity is not only good for your heart. Research showed that physical activity can also reduce the risk of getting cancer. This is especially true for bowel, breast, and womb cancer. There’s also evidence that exercise is beneficial for people during cancer treatment. That doesn’t mean you should scale a mountain or run a marathon during cancer therapy. That means you should add some exercises to your daily life. For example, you may take a daily walk or ride a stationary bicycle. Combined with a light strength training, it can enhance your recovery.
Here are 5 tips on how to exercise during cancer treatment.
1. Consult Your Doctor
Patients suffering from cancer must consult their doctor before starting to exercise. Your doctor can help you get an exercise plan that will work best for you. Likewise, your physician can help you avoid infections and prevent injuries. Exercising in a public place is not recommended for patients prone to infections. You can use an instructional video instead and exercise at your home.
2. Ask For A Physical Therapist
The physical therapists are sometimes prescribed to help patients during their recovery period. You should ask your doctor to refer you to a physical therapist. A physical therapist may design a customized exercise plan that suits individual needs. For instance, some exercises could be prescribed to increase the range of motion. That prevents lymphedema which affects some patients suffering from breast cancer.
Also Read: What is the Cancer Moonshot?
3. Start With Your Exercise Program
When to start exercising? Well, the sooner you start, the better you will feel. Your exercise program should have the following 3 components:
- Stretching – This will help you keep your joints and muscles limber.
- Aerobic workout – A moderate aerobic workout will pump your heart rate up. It may include cycling, jogging, or brisk walking either on a treadmill or outdoors. You can also consider swimming.
- Strength training – That will build and tone your muscles. It may include circuit training with a weight machine or lifting weights. Make sure to work with light weights.
4. Determine Your Workout
Effective exercising on a regular basis is proven to improve mesothelioma prognosis. The same goes for other types of cancers. So, it’s crucial to determine an effective workout with your physical therapist and doctor as well. They will suggest you the exercise types which will ensure you stay safe.
Your best choice is to start slowly and progress gradually. You can start with a 15-minute walking on a daily basis. After a couple of days, you may proceed with 30-minute exercise. Set your goal. Aim for 15 minutes of vigorous or 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a day. This will depend on your health condition, type of cancer, and treatment.
5. Consider Side Effects
Be cautious. It can harm your health if you’re trying to do too much. You will have to reduce the intensity of your workout if you experience any side effect. Likewise, the certain side effects that occur during cancer treatment may limit your activity. The most common side effect is fatigue. Do not exercise when you feel extremely tired. That could cause an injury.
Bear in mind that your body can’t function as before. Make sure you are exercising at a level that benefits you. Otherwise, exercising will harm rather than improve your health.