Wellness > Exercise
According to an article published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, exercise has proven to have positive effects on the physical, psychological, and emotional well-being of those diagnosed with cancer.
Researchers have consistently demonstrated that physical exercise after a cancer diagnosis has been beneficial in increasing lung capacity, muscle strength, flexibility and energy, as well as reducing nausea, fatigue, pain, and diarrhea.
Psychological benefits included increased self-esteem, improvement in symptoms of depression and anxiety, and an overall greater satisfaction with life.
Most physicians prefer to recommend customized programs for their patients. Statistically, 70-95% of all cancer patients who undergo surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation experience at least some degree of fatigue. This fatigue may accompany not only the treatment itself, but may last long after the treatment has been completed. A prescribed exercise program can help overcome, manage, or reduce fatigue after, or during chemotherapy and radiation. Your doctor may be able to help in finding a program suitable for you.
As an option to supervised exercise, home-based programs for cancer patients are also available. These programs include an instruction manual and video. Eric Durak, MS, an exercise psychologist and co-director of the Cancer Well-Fit Program in Santa Barbara, California, has worked with more than 500 cancer patients, and has plans to expand his program nationwide.
The Wellness Community, in which the late comedienne Gilda Radner was active, offers yoga, tai chi, and other conditioning programs in 26 cities nationwide. Yoga is considered ideal for cancer patients since it is low-impact, reduces stress, and promotes overall relaxation. This technique is also frequently used by patients dealing with chemotherapy or radiation treatments. All that is necessary is a quiet, comfortable place and some time each day to practice breathing, stretching, and meditation.
NOTE: SOME CANCER PATIENTS MAY REQUIRE CLOSE MEDICAL SUPERVISION DURING EXERCISE; OTHERS MAY NOT BE ABLE TO EXERCISE AT ALL. ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR PERSONAL PHYSICIAN BEFORE BEGINNING ANY EXERCISE REGIMEN.
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