Sometimes when you are ill the last thing you want to do is exercise. This may be particularly relevant if you are going through treatment for cancer. Your body is often left feeling depleted, and you are emotionally and physically exhausted.
This exhaustion will go as you heal and your body will one day feel normal again. But you can definitely help yourself along the healing process, even move it along fairly quickly, by including physical activity, or exercise, into your daily regimen.
Physical activity after a cancer diagnosis
It is super important to keep active. Exercise regularly, even after surgery. One should try to walk at last 3-5 hours per week. If you still have tumors, get outside and get active. Physical activity will improve your quality of life, give you more energy, make you feel better about yourself, reduce anxiety and prolong your life.
If you are at home during your recuperation, opt for a home based physical activity program. A physiotherapist or gym instructor can come over once and tailor make a program for you. Many studies have shown that physical activity can be protective too, after a cancer diagnosis and survival.
If you need surgeries for your cancer, exercise up until the surgery. Keep your body as fit as possible as you are more likely to recover quickly from the surgery, to heal quicker and to survive and perhaps have a lower chance of recurrence.
How does exercise or physical activity go with health?
Physical activity can influence your health in a big way. It can:
- Control your weight
- Reduce high blood pressure
- Control diabetes
- Promote physical well-being
- Promote mental well-being
- Maintain healthy bones and skin.
- Strengthen muscles and joints
- Reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Boost your immune system.
Can physical activity reduce the risk of cancer?
Yes. The answer is a definite yes.
People who have an active lifestyle generally have a lower risk of certain cancers, especially lung, prostrate and endometrial. Physical activity, or exercise, has been found to change a number of inflammatory and immune factors, which can influence the risk of cancer.
Physical activity and colon cancer
Studies in the USA have shown that adults who take part in good exercise can reduce their risk of developing colon cancer by up to 40 percent. Physical activity can protect the development of colon cancer in many ways. By exercising you are creating energy in the body, protecting energy balance, hormone metabolism and also protecting against tumor development. Exercise also decreases the time the colon is exposed to potential carcinogens.
Physical activity and breast cancer
Studies into this have been extensive, with over 60 studies published in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. The results are unanimous, that women who exercise often and regularly have a lower chance of developing breast cancer. This does depend on the breast cancer as some cancers are genetic and cannot be avoided. High levels of vigorous activity during adolescence may be especially protective, although a lifetime of regular exercise is always beneficial to health.
Physical activity can prevent tumor development by lowering hormone levels, particularly in premenopausal women. It also lowers insulin and insulin-like growth factors that boost the immune system.
Apart from anything, physical activity does keep you fit and healthy!
Physical activity and endometrial cancer
Studies have been fairly extensive and results show an inverse relationship between exercise and endometrial cancer occurrence. Women who are physically active have a 20-40 percent reduced risk of endometrial cancer. The greatest reduction occurred amongst women who exercised most. The risk does not appear to differ according to age. Change in body mass and changes in the levels and metabolism of sex hormones, like estrogen, are thought to explain the relationship between exercise and endometrial cancer. Hormones and hormone replacement theories have all been taken into account with these studies and it is conclusive that exercise balances the body energy and hormone levels, and helps.
Physical activity and lung cancer
It can be hard to exercise when you have lung cancer. Lung cancer is one of those awful cancers that diminishes your ability to move and exercise, and breathing becomes hard. Lung cancer can be cured if found early and with today’s extraordinary medical technology. Physical activity is very important to try to prevent lung cancer and most physically active people experience a 20 percent lower risk of contracting the disease. However, smoking should be avoided. If you do smoke, stop now. And exercise more.
Cancer, health, diet and exercise
A cancer diagnosis is a frightening thing. Today, medical technology is extraordinary and survival rates are higher than they have ever been. Care needs to be holistic. Treatment, as per your oncologist’s advice. A healthy diet with plenty of fiber, leafy green vegetables, fruit, healthy fats, lean proteins, nuts, beans and legumes is a must. Cut out sugar and processed foods, and all fizzy drinks.
Above all, be physically active. Exercise. It can help prevent disease, it can help with the recovery and recuperation if you are ill, and it can help prevent a recurrence.