Cancer is the uncontrollable and abnormal growth of cells. Being a cancer survivor, one should be really careful about his/her diet and exercise to heal from cancer. As per The American Cancer Society recommendation, one should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise each week during treatment. However, it’s really important to take your physician’s advice so you don’t do any damage to your body.
It is important to be really careful about accommodating the side effects of treatment. One can be extremely exhausted for a day after treatment so you should not push yourself too hard and deplete your energy. Also, if you are suffering from neuropathy (a common side effect of cancer) there are specific exercises which you can do to help regain the feeling in your fingers and toes.
Once you’ve got the permission from your physician, you just need to find exercises which will be easy for you to handle. Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi are great choices for cancer patients as they are relatively gentle and easy to handle. They also help reduce stress in the body. A certified personal trainer can be a good choice to design a program that works for your individual needs.
Of course, walking can be a good choice for cancer patients as it is less stress on the body, yet gives aerobic and cardio benefits. Even just taking a short walk can be a first step to getting you back on a fitness routine. Another great choice is using a treadmill. This can give you a solid cardio workout that isn’t overly taxing and can be done in the comfort of your own home if you aren’t up to going out, a particular consideration for many cancer patients. However, being outside in nature and getting natural sunlight is optimal.
No matter what type of exercise you choose to do, the important thing for all cancer patients to remember is to go slowly. The goal of treatment is to get you back to a healthy state which will be hard to achieve if you push too hard too fast and end up with an injury. While you might be anxious to get back to your prior fitness level, you should always remember that healing from cancer is a marathon, not a sprint. And the true goal is to reach your destination safely.
It’s always advisable to keep records of all your medical data. Monitor your blood pressure at home. You can follow many aspects of your health with the new smartphone apps that are appearing daily. Share this information with your doctor. Store all of your health information online so it can be easily accessible no matter where you are. Fitness is paramount to your body’s overall functioning. The data demonstrate that sitting for 5 hours a day is equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes daily! Still, it’s easy to underestimate how long you stay seated during the day.
In summary, aim for an hour of moderate exercise a day (short bouts count, too) and try and move (even just walking) for 3-5 minutes every half hour or so. Then you can be assured that you’re getting fit and healthy and even cancer can’t stop you to live your life.