Saturday, 28 April 2012

How Fitness Can Benefit Cancer Patients


This post has been provided by Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

"Cancer can serve as a major obstacle in someone’s life and can be filled with a series of physical and emotional ups and downs. The disease and its treatment can potentially have a debilitating effect on cancer patients. Those going through cancer treatment need to look for every method possible to make the experience a little more bearable. In recent years, scientists have begun to discover the amazing positive effects that a regular fitness routine has to offer those suffering from cancer.

In the past, doctors recommended that cancer patients get as much rest as possible in order to fight the disease. These orders for rest included ordering patients to refrain from physical activity as much as possible. This meant that cancer patients had to forgo participating in any kind of exercise routine. It is now clear that this advice has turned out to be completely erroneous.

There have been many studies that have demonstrated the positive benefits regular exercise has to offer cancer patients. One of the biggest and most important of these studies was conducted by a large British charity, Macmillan Cancer Support. This report by Macmillan Cancer Support was the most wide scale look at the research into the relationship between exercise and cancer patients. The results of more than 60 studies were looked at in the report.

The studies proved that the benefits of regular exercise for cancer patients are tremendous. The report found that patients with every kind of cancer could benefit from a moderate exercise routine. Cancer patients that engaged in a regular exercise program both increased their risk of surviving the disease and decreased their chances of having a reoccurrence of their cancer.

The benefits varied between different types of cancer; however, a workout program had impacted many of the deadliest and most common types of cancer. The study looked at patients that engaged in at least two and a half hours of moderate exercise a week. This amount of exercise reduced the chances of a patient with prostate cancer from dying or having a reoccurrence of cancer by 30 percent. The news for women was even better. Breast cancer patients reduced their risk of dying or having a reoccurrence of their cancer by 40 percent.

This Macmillan Cancer Support report is a major reason that cancer patients are now being encouraged to engage in a regular fitness routine during the course of their treatment. The same study also looked at how health care providers discuss exercise with their patients. The study questioned more than 400 physicians in the UK. The responses indicated that more than half of these doctors had no idea of the benefits a regular fitness routine offers cancer patients. It also found that 1 in 10 of these doctors actually encouraged their patients to absolutely forgo any kind of exercise in order to rest up from the effects of the disease.

Luckily, this report has led to a complete change in the way doctors discuss the subject of physical fitness with their patients. Most doctors are now recommending that their cancer patients try to get at least two and a half hours of moderate exercise during the course of their cancer treatment.

The type of exercise is not important. It can be swimming, running, walking, tennis or any other kind of physical activity. The important part is to make sure it is done at a moderate pace that raises the heartbeat; however, patients with mesothelioma cancer may need a less invasive type of workout plan. It is also important to do a half hour of fitness training at least five times a week.

Cancer patients should listen to their bodies and be sure to stop if they are not feeling well. Consult your doctor and find a workout regimen that best suits the needs of you and your treatment and get out there and get active!"

We would add that any exercise that increase the lactic acid level in the body should be avoided as this creates an acidic balance in which cancer thrives.  Ensure that your exercise is moderate and enjoyable - breathe deeply whilst performing it and ensure that your heart rate stays within the 60 to 80% mhr range in order to stay with the aerobic threshold.

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