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Physical Activity for Cancer Survivors: Necessary for Energy Balance

Posted Apr 24 2013 12:00am

Today I have guest blogger, Melanie Bowen , on the blog to talk about the importance of exercise as part of cancer treatment. This subject really hits home for me as my grandfather had colon cancer, and at the ripe young age of  28 I had a colonoscopy  to find out what was causing abdominal bloating, my doctor found and removed precancerous cells from my colon. It was quite scary for me! I also know several women who have had breast cancer, so ever since then I have been very interested in natural cancer prevention and treatment.
Physical activity is an important step after cancer treatment. For those who are going through intense treatment after such cancers like breast cancer or mesothelioma , it can be difficult to walk or just move around. However, rebuilding muscle strength is a part of human wellness after going through treatment. Physical activity has also been attributed to improving mood, preventing cancer and maintaining bone and muscle health. Physical activity has been proven to reduce the risk of cancer in the prostate, lung and the lining of the uterus. For all these reasons and much more, you should be getting some physical exercise every day.

Women walking

What Type of Physical Activity Works?

Nothing is too small when you just want to start working out. Going for a short walk a few times a day or lifting weights is a small measure of what you can do to improve your life for years to come. Physical activity helps balance out the energy levels in your body. With physical activity, you increase your energy levels, which are often deteriorated with treatment regimens. This makes it easier to get up out of bed and start moving back to your normal routine, particularly after treatment. Some low impact physical activity includes yoga, light dance, water aerobics, short walks and lifting light weights. Stationary bikes, medicine balls, stretching, Wii fit games and other exercises can also be easy to do in the home.


How Often Should You Exercise?

Most people want to get in at least 15 to 20 minutes of exercise per day. Cancer survivors may take a little time to build up to that amount, but just walking around every hour or every couple of hours can improve health after tough treatments. When you can do more, don’t push yourself to “go hard.” Remember that it’s about balancing your body energy levels and building muscle over time. Short walks and lifting weights can be essential to using what energy you have for that purpose.


Positive Effects of Every Day Activity

Even when you don’t feel like working out or starting a physical activity, you’ll be surprised by the way you feel after. Exercise improves your mood because of the release of endorphins. So as your body starts to move and exert force, it becomes easier to build up more energy for other exercises and activities. That’s why cancer patients need this type of energy in their daily lives when in recovery. As long as you are doing something every day and building upon your workouts each week, you should see positive results in your body and wellbeing.



Melanie Bowen writes for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance as an awareness advocate for natural health and cancer cure initiatives. You will often find her highlighting the great benefits of alternative nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness. Melanie also assists in social media outreach in her efforts to spread awareness. 



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