Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fitness For Cancer Patients

This blog is principally about me walking (and writing) to help sufferers from a particular type of cancer. But exercise can help cancer sufferers themselves.

David Haas is an advocate for cancer patients and wants to make a difference in their lives because cancer has devastated so many people in this world. The following is a guest post from him because recently he has been researching and writing about how beneficial cancer support networks and also staying physically fit is to people going through treatments, in remission, and even family members of cancer patients.

I have also added a link to David's Blog "Haas Blaag". This can be found on the left side of this page.


The Best Exercises For Cancer Patients

What is the best exercise for someone with cancer? Generally speaking, most people can engage in any physical activity they like, within limits. While surgery may limit a breast cancer patient from certain types of exercises, and conversely, breathing difficulties may affect those in mesothelioma treatment; most cancer patients can benefit from gentle or moderate exercise.

There is not one best exercise for every cancer patient. The right exercise for any patient depends on a number of factors, including personal fitness level, cancer treatment type, and general health. The important thing is to choose an enjoyable activity and stick with it.

Determining The Best Exercise

The American Cancer Society (ACS) suggests several ways to choose an appropriate physical activity. For example, cancer patients should ask themselves if they enjoy socializing with others or prefer time alone. Do they need an energy boost, or a way to reduce stress? Do they require structure in their exercise programs, or do they thrive best with a flexible routine?

These questions can help patients determine the best exercise for them. Once they have chosen their game, it is important to engage in the activity on a regular basis. The ACS suggests 30 minutes of activity, five or more days a week. Patients should start with gentle or moderate activities. In time, they can slowly increase the exercise intensity, frequency, and duration according to their fitness level.

Fitness Programs Versus Daily Activities

People who want to follow an exercise program should include aerobic activities as well as flexibility exercises and resistance training. Walking, running, bicycling, and swimming are examples of aerobic exercises that work the heart, lungs, and large muscle groups. Stretching, yoga, and Pilates are common flexibility activities for cancer patients. Weight training and isometric exercises are good resistance activities.

For cancer patients who are not enamored with fitness programs and gyms, there are other ways to stay active in daily life. Gardening, dancing, bike riding, stair climbing, walking in the garden or down the street -- even vigorous housework -- can provide adequate exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Fitness Benefits For Cancer Patients

Research shows that physical activity reduces the risk of developing some types of cancer, and it may also reduce the risk of recurrence. Certainly, it helps cancer patients cope with the symptoms of their disease, as well as the side effects of cancer treatment.

Whether someone is facing prostate cancer, skin tumors, rare mesothelioma, or another illness, they can benefit from staying active through exercise. However, some activities are not recommended for people with certain types of cancer. So it is important for cancer patients to talk to a doctor or therapist before starting a fitness program or engaging in a physical activity.

By: David Haas


My book "Vic's Big Walk" can be found on (Kindle) or (Kindle), Barnes&Noble Nook or Apple iBookstore (also soon from Sony Reader) for less than the price of a couple of coffees. All proceeds go direct to pancreatic cancer research.

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