Thursday, April 25, 2013

Don't Let Cancer Stop You From Moving: A guest blog from Melanie Bowen

Everyone has either known or met someone who has cancer, and while the news of this disease can bring heartbreak to many people there is a way to fight back and stay healthy through it all. Melanie Bowen emailed me a couple weeks ago and asked me if I would share this article she has written about how you can stay healthy during cancer, please share this with friends, family and loved ones and lets help spread the word on how to stay healthy. A big thank you to Melanie Bowen again for taking the time and sharing this article with us...


Don't Let Cancer Stop You From Moving

A cancer diagnosis is a hard pill for anyone to swallow. It can be a long and difficult road but it can be overcome. There are many thing patients can do outside of traditional treatment, which can help better the odds of survival. Exercise is a key weapon to use while battling cancer. It has countless benefits that may help a cancer patient become a survivor. Even if the tables cannot be turned on the disease, regular exercise may actually prolong a cancer patient's life, giving a person more quality time with their loved ones.

How can exercise help a cancer patient?

According to the National Cancer Institute, physical activity has many positive effects for a cancer patient. Exercise is recommended for all people, regardless of whether there is the presence of cancer or not. Physical activity promotes a stronger body with more energy and more flexibility. It helps a person to maintain a healthy weight and have a strong cardiovascular system. Cancer patients who exercise are less likely to give in to fatigue. Best of all, being active helps a cancer victim to have a better state of mind. It is often said that being positive is key in beating cancer. When patients exercise, they tend to be more optimistic because exercise induces the release of endorphins throughout the body. Endorphins help boost the mood and especially help cancer patients have a higher quality of life. If they sit still and dwell on their illness, they are less likely to overcome it and prone to additional health problems as well.

What kind of exercise can cancer patients do?

Cancer patients need to consider their personal situation and diagnosis. They should do something they enjoy while not being too strenuous on the body. It could be something as easy as going for a walk. They can plan a different route each day, go with friends, or walk on a treadmill. Riding a bike might work for some patients, while yoga might work for others. Swimming is another popular exercise that is excellent for the heart and lungs, yet is low impact. Going on a hike, paying golf, and even Zumba are other options for cancer patients with different interests. Even patients battling mesothelioma or lung cancer can find ways to be physically active, such as light weight lifting in bed since they cannot participate in much exercise requiring cardiovascular activity. Cancer patients need to talk to their doctor about what forms of exercise are considered safe. From that point, a person should adjust an exercise routine according to how he or she is feeling each day. If a person is having a bad day, a shorter workout might be best.


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