Monday, October 10, 2011

Contributing Article: Exercise for Cancer Patients

Exercise for Cancer Patients
Staying active during cancer treatment is not the first thing to cross someone’s mind but it is proven to have enormous benefits. Exercise can boost immune systems, reduce fatigue, and reduce stress levels and depression.  Staying active has been revealed to help lessen effects from cancers such as liver cancer, breast cancer and even unusual cancers such as epithelial mesothelioma.
Types of exercises that are especially beneficial for cancer patients:
  • Flexibility exercises like stretching, yoga and pilates. These are good for patients who are not ready for vigorous exercise but still want to maintain mobility and reap the benefits of working out.
  • Aerobic exercise such as swimming, jogging, or playing a sport. These types of exercises increase lung capacity and build cardiovascular fitness which can lower the risk of diabetes, stroke and heart attacks.
  • Resistance training, like weight lifting, is particularly important for cancer patients because there is often a loss of muscle through cancer treatment.
It is best if there is a combination of all of these types of exercises to increase the overall well-being of cancer patients. If these seem too overwhelming there are ways to increase physical activity without hitting the gym. Using the stairs instead of the escalator is a good way to start. 
It is essential, for cancer patients especially, to proceed with caution when it comes to their exercise routine. An oncology team can help when deciding on the right activities. Patients must stay in tune to their bodies and act appropriately.
People go through many challenges in life and exercise will always be a healthy way for people to cope and improve their conditions both physically and emotionally.  
Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness. She became particularly interested in ways cancer patients can cope with the side-effects of their treatment after her mother became an oncology nurse for lung cancer.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on,, and If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

No comments: