Why Exercising is Important during Cancer Journey?
Studies have found that doing moderate and strong physical activities can lower the chances of getting certain cancers. These include:
- Bowel cancer (only the colon part)
- Breast cancer in women who are past menopause
- Womb cancer (endometrium)
Staying physically active can also help prevent becoming very overweight, which is linked to a higher risk of 13 different types of cancer.
Even simply moving around more instead of sitting a lot can be helpful. For example, if you’re on the computer, stand up and walk around sometimes. When you’re watching TV, stand up when there are commercials or between shows. There’s also evidence that being more active might reduce the risk of some cancers coming back
When Cancer Patients Should Avoid Exercise
Some people with specific kinds of cancer or undergoing certain treatments might have to be careful about the exercises they do. There are times when you need to be extra cautious.
Cancer that impacts the bones
If your bones are affected by cancer, they might be more likely to break. You should be careful not to stress those bones too much. Swimming or doing exercises in water can be helpful. In water, your body isn’t weighed down by gravity, so your bones don’t get strained. Yoga is also a safe option for people.
Weakened Immune System
If your immune system is weak because of treatment, it’s better to stay away from working out in public gyms. Check with your medical team about when it’s okay to start going to the gym with others. But remember, you can still find other ways to stay active.
Some people might experience numbness or tingling in their hands and feet due to cancer treatments. This is called “peripheral neuropathy.” If you have this, using a stationary bike might be a better option than doing exercises that make your body carry weight.
After certain type of surgery
After certain types of surgery, you might have to wait before you can exercise like you used to. Talk to your doctor or specialist nurse for advice on what types of exercise you can do.
Guidelines for Exercising for Cancer Patients
It’s okay to begin moving around more whether you have just found out about your illness, are getting treatment, or have recently finished treatment. How much you do depends on how fit you normally feel. You can start by making some small changes. Like walking inside your home, around your neighbourhood, or even getting off the bus a bit earlier.
If you’re not used to being very active, you should take it slowly. If you do too much one day, you might feel tired and achy the next day. Remember, you don’t always have to do more than what you did yesterday. Some days you’ll have more energy than others.
- Start with short periods (10 to 15 minutes) of easy activity. Then slowly increase until you reach your goal.
- Try to stay active. You can mix up resting with things like chores at home, such as mowing the lawn or doing the ironing.
- Find activities that you enjoy because you’re more likely to keep doing them. And don’t let past inactivity stop you from starting now. Simple walking or swimming is good for most people. You can build up bit by bit each day.