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Benefits of Exercise for Cancer Patients

How to improve quality of life for those diagnosed with cancer

According to the National Cancer Institute, a panel of 13 cancer specialist researchers found that there were several benefits to exercising after being diagnosed with cancer. These benefits include improving your quality of life, reducing depression, increasing your strength and lifespan as well as reducing the risk of cancer coming back after remission. If you have been diagnosed with cancer or are currently taking mesothelioma treatment or treatment for any other form of cancer, start taking advantage of these benefits today!

Weight Loss

Being overweight not only increases the risk of developing osteoporosis, heart disease and type-2 diabetes, but research has shown that it also reduces your overall lifespan after a cancer diagnosis. Eating healthy foods and being active everyday reduces these risks and improves your quality of life. Since dieting may not be the way to go while under treatment for cancer, exercising alone can help you shed those excess pounds.

Experts suggest aiming for 150 minutes of aerobic activities per week, although some may need up to 300 minutes per week to see a significant change in weight. Aerobic exercises include: swimming, biking, jogging, power-walking and skating. One-hour of aerobic exercising for a 200-pound person burns off up to 664 calories.

Exercising helps with weight loss
Exercising is an important part of treatment after being diagnosed with cancer.
(Image by Pixabay.com)


Improve Heart Health

Cutting back on saturated fat and trans-fat and replacing them with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat can greatly reduce your heart disease risk; however, inactivity can defeat this effect. In fact, the University of Maryland Medical Center states that inactivity is one of the major risks for developing heart disease. The heart is both an organ and a muscle, and just as any other muscle, working out makes it stronger. When your heart is stronger, it can pump more blood throughout your body, with every beat, making it work better without working harder.

Exercise also reduces your blood pressure, blood sugar level and low-density lipoprotein ‘bad cholesterol,’ improving your whole circulatory system. To enjoy the benefits of a healthy heart, perform cardiovascular ‘cardio’ exercises for at least 30 minutes a day, 3-4 days a week. Examples of cardio exercises are: running, jogging, biking and boxing.

Improve Mood

It is normal to feel sad or anxious after receiving a cancer diagnosis and some people begin to feel it more intensely after going through radical treatment that causes their appearance to change. Your doctor may recommend going to talk therapy sessions or joining a support group to discuss these feelings in an effort to reduce them. He may also prescribe you anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medications to help you cope.

However, did you know that taking part in regular physical activity can also help boost your mood? Studies have shown that working out on a daily basis can help combat depression and anxiety. If you aren’t physically strong enough to join a gym or to partake in vigorous activities, doing household chores such as dusting, vacuuming and moving furniture around can help. Aim to be active for at least 10-30 minutes per day to see the most benefits in your mood.

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