Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Guest Post: The Importance of Exercise for Individual's Dealing with a Cancer Diagnosis

So I was recently contacted by David Haas and he asked me if I would be interested in hosting a guest blog.  Since I am a bit of a cancer soldier, doing what I can to aid in the fight against cancer, and his post is very relevant to that subject, I thought it would be a neat idea.

He sent me the following blog.   Some good information here.

The Importance of Exercise for Individual's Dealing with a Cancer Diagnosis

When you are going through the various emotions associated with a cancer diagnosis, one of the last things you are interested in thinking about is exercising to stay fit. However, when you have cancer it is very important to maintain some degree of movement every day, doing this can positively affect how you feel physically and emotionally. Exercise will help you to have more energy, which in turn, will improve your quality of life. 

To achieve the aforementioned benefits, you do not have to become a body builder or exercise fanatic, all you need to do is take 10 minutes out of your day to ride a bike or walk around the block. 

Exercise Components
Experts have stated that every sensible exercise program has three components. Even an exercise program that includes only a little of each of these components is ideal. 


Stretching helps keep your muscles and joints flexible, which is important for everyone, from the people diagnosed with colon cancer to the people diagnosed with a rare cancer like mesothelioma. Any individual that is bedridden for any length of time would find stretching extremely beneficial.

An Aerobic Workout

An aerobic workout gets your blood pumping by speeding up your heart rate. Some of the more common aerobic exercises include brisk walking or jogging, bicycling on a stationary bike or outdoors and swimming. 

Strength Training

When you strength train you build your muscles and tone your body. This helps you maintain your strength while you are dealing with your disease and when a patient is receiving treatment that can weaken the body.

Exercise is Important

In 2009, the American College of Sports Medicine conducted a study that stressed that cancer patients need to avoid being inactive. Dr. Schmitz, the lead author of the Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia stated that programs for cancer patients that are similar to the cardiac rehab programs would be extremely beneficial.

Dr. Schmitz has stated that the cancer patient’s quality of life will improve and is the main benefit of maintaining a regular exercise program. 

Dr. Schmitz, along with her partners in the study, has created realistic, but aggressive guidelines for the cancer patients’ exercise program. This program avoids any tasks that may be too difficult for a cancer patient to overcome. For instance, certain medications or therapies that are used to treat cancer have a tendency to make the patient prone to have bone fractures. This must be realized when creating an exercise program tailored to the cancer patient.

You can ask your support person at the hospital if they have a personal trainer available that caters to the needs of cancer patients. If they do not, contact your local health clubs to inquire about fitness personnel that are trained to work with cancer patients. Do not be apprehensive about asking for the trainer’s documentation concerning his licensing and/or experience.

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