Implementing an exercise program following cancer surgery and/or treatment. As with any exercise program, you must get approval from your doctor before you begin. will show you how you can exercise, at various levels of difficulty, in the comfort of your own home, athletic club, or office. Although we will make suggestions as to how long, how often, and what intensity you should exercise, it important that you don’t push yourself too hard, too fast. Go at your own pace. The key is consistency and persistence. Even on the days you don’t feel like exercising, and you will have them, push yourself to try and do something. If you are unable to do your workout in its entirety, that’s okay. It will all add up. Set realistic goals around treatment days. If you know that two days following chemotherapy is when you crash and burn, plan on exercising the two days prior and taking a day or two off when you don’t feel well.
**Some of the many reasons you should exercise both during and after cancer surgery and/or treatment.
Physiological Benefits of Exercise
• Improved cardiovascular endurance and stamina
—stronger heart and lungs
—critical following chemotherapy and radiation which can damage the heart and lungs
• Increased muscular strength and endurance
• Increased lean muscle mass
—less body fat
—decreased risk of lymphedema
—decreased risk of Type II diabetes which can be exacerbated by chemotherapy
—decreased risk of other cancers
—counters muscle loss
—increased metabolic rate (burn more calories in a 24-hr. period)
—decreased risk of obesity
—decreased risk of osteoporosis
• Increased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) – the “good” cholesterol
• Decreased risk of diseases such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, and high cholesterol
• Increased range of motion, mobility, and functional fitness
—less joint and muscle pain and inflammation
—ability to perform activities of daily living
Psychological Benefits of Exercise
• Decreased stress and tension
• Improved self-esteem and self-confidenceBetter body-image
• Increased ability to cope with stressors
• Increased ability to concentrate (can help with “Chemo-brain” – short term memory loss)
• Reduced anxiety and depression
Other Benefits of Exercise
• Improved treatment tolerance
• Improved sleep patterns
—more energy during the day
—less depression and fewer mood swings
Benefits of exercise in preventing cancer
In 1996, the first Surgeon General’s report on physical activity and health was published, including the currently accepted public health recommendations for physical activity for general health, 20 minutes of moderate intensity activity – such as brisk walking – on most days
of the week. This recommendation has been adopted by the American Cancer Society and is included in the current recommendations from the American Cancer Society in preventing cancer. Exercise has many proven health benefits for both preventing disease and promoting
Benefits Of Exercise With Patients Diagnosed With Cancer
There will be an estimated 1,762,450 new cancer cases diagnosed and 606,880 cancer deaths in the United States alone.
In the past, people being treated for a chronic illness (an illness a person may live with for a long time, like cancer or diabetes) were often told by their doctor to rest and reduce their physical activity.
However, newer research has shown that exercise is not only safe and possible during cancer treatment, but it can improve how well you function physically and your quality of life.
Too much rest may lead to muscle wasting, loss of range of motion and body functions. Thus creating a more difficult way of life for those during treatment and for pre/post op patients.
Did you know that many cancer care teams are urging their patients to be as physically active as possible during cancer treatment?
Ways that exercise benefits you or your loved one at time of diagnosis, through treatment and well into recovery:
• Keep or improve your physical abilities
(how well you can use your body to do things)
• Improve balance, lower risk of falls and broken bones
• Keep muscles from wasting due to inactivity
• Lower the risk of heart disease
• Lessen the risk of osteoporosis (weak bones that are more likely to break)
• Improve blood flow to your legs and lower the risk of blood clots
• Make you less dependent on others for help with
normal activities of daily living
• Improve your self-esteem
• Lower the risk of being anxious and depressed
• Lessen nausea
• Improve your ability to keep social contacts
• Lessen symptoms of tiredness (fatigue)
• Help you control your weight
• Improve your quality of life
Regular moderate exercise has been found to have health benefits for the person with cancer.
The key is consistency and persistence. Even on the days you don’t feel like exercising, and you will have them, push yourself to try and do something. If you are unable to do your workout in its entirety, that’s okay. It will all add up. Set realistic goals around treatment days.
Nadine of Master Fitness is a Cancer Exercise Specialist, Nadine works with clients in person and virtually. If you are interested in adding fitness into your life and becoming stronger physically and mentally, please contact us today!