Exercise To Enhance Cancer Treatment - Wellness Sultana

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Exercise To Enhance Cancer Treatment

Over the past fifty years cancer treatments have advanced to help patients that suffer from even the most advanced forms of the disease. While these treatments can help to prevent further growth and save lives, they also can cause drastic damage to a person’s physical strength. Mesothelioma treatment and chemotherapy are intense, but there are ways to stay positive and preserve your physical strength during your cancer treatment and recovery.

In 1997, a team of researchers found that walking on treadmills and participating in strength training can decrease both fatigue and pain during chemotherapy treatments.

Exercising during cancer requires a different mental focus than it does when you are healthy. Instead of focusing on losing weight or toning muscle, the goal of exercise during cancer is to maintain your health. To get the most out of your exercise routine as you are fighting cancer, focus on cardiovascular activity and strength training.

There are a number of potential benefits to gain from participating in exercise during cancer treatment, including:

•           Reduced nausea
•           Improved quality of life
•           Improved self-esteem
•           Lowered risk of heart disease
•           Reduced risk for depression and anxiety

Cardiovascular Activity

Walking on a treadmill is one leading form of cardiovascular activity. It is important not to push your body too far as you are undergoing chemotherapy treatment. While many people are able to run, going for a brief brisk jog followed by a long walk on a treadmill is a great way to keep your heart rate up and rejuvenate your muscles during cancer treatment.

The treadmill is not the only option for cardiovascular activity. Take your walk outside and enjoy the trails or beaches in your community instead of confining yourself to a gym.

If walking is not ideal for you, then try riding your bike out in the sunshine instead. Stationary recumbent bikes are available at most gyms and are a great way to work your legs while using the stability of the bike to balance yourself during your workout.

Elliptical machines are another option for a cardio workout, as they will simulate running to get your heart rate up without causing any increased impact on your knees.

Strength Training

The American College of Sports Medicine considers strength training to be essential for chemotherapy patients in order to combat the possible bone and muscle loss that they are at risk for during their cancer treatment. Most gyms offer weight machines to help you during your workout. Weight machines can guide your workout, helping you to target specific muscles while reducing your risk for injury during your workout. However, you do not need fancy equipment for a good strength-training workout.

Push-ups, for example, are a great way to build your arm muscles using only your own body weight in the comfort of your own home.

To fit in a good strength-training workout, grab hand weights or resistance bands and find a spacious room to workout in. Holding the weights or resistance bands with your arms at your sides, begin doing arm curls, rotating each arm and doing as many repetitions as you feel comfortable for your strength level.

With resistance bands you can also focus on building strength in your lower body with leg extensions and leg curls, which can be done as you sit on the couch, lifting one leg and then the other.

For more information about the benefits of physical activity during cancer treatment, visit http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/SurvivorshipDuringandAfterTreatment/StayingActive/