The Many Great Benefits of Exercise after Breast Cancer
Posted Apr 19 2012 12:51pm
If you’re someone who was diagnosed with breast cancer, you’re certainly not alone. There are statistics to support the fact that 1 in 8 women will have breast cancer at some point in their lifetime. The good news is that if you’re reading this, then you are either highly optimistic (a great thing when it comes to dealing with any health issue), or you are one of the over 80% of women in this country who survived having it.
And now that you’re more focused on life after cancer than getting through the disease, while you probably know that exercise is a good thing for basically anyone to do, you might be wondering what some of the great benefits are that come with working out specifically as it relates to healing from breast cancer. There are several health benefits, actually. Let’s look at just a few of them today.
Exercise Curbs Fatigue and Depression
If you are someone still going through breast cancer treatments, it bears mentioning that low-impact exercises have actually been linked to curbing many of the side effects that are directly related to cancer therapy. However, once people have been given a clean bill of health, sometimes they are overcome with feelings of extreme fatigue or the onsets of depression . That’s because oftentimes, there has been so much focus placed on fighting the disease that the patients don’t even realize how much they are running on basically nothing but adrenaline alone. So, once they have processed that they are in remission, sometimes other needs that their body was lacking comes to the forefront. Counseling is sometimes a good thing for the mind, but there are also things that you can do for your body too. There’s a recent study at Thomas Jefferson University that revealed that by walking at least 90-150 minutes per week, you can decrease your fatigue level by as much as 27 percent. Pilates is another form of exercise that has gotten raved reviews in helping to rehabilitate breast cancer survivors.
Exercise Improves Body Image and Composition
If you had to go through extensive treatments or surgeries, there’s a significant chance that your breast cancer did not just alter you physically, but it caused you to have (at least a temporary) low self-image. After all, your breasts are not all of who you were, but most of us have been with the same ones for most of our lives and any kind of bodily adjustment can take its toll. Getting back into a consistent exercise routine is a great way to get your body back fit and tone and that always make us feel and look better, both in and out of our clothes. And if you’re still wearing chemo hats , consider sporting a really cute wig now, instead; that will probably help boost your confidence level up as well. Another thing that can be affected by cancer is our body composition because based on the stage of the cancer and the treatment that was required, sometimes a loss of body mass and weight are the consequences. Along with a healthy diet, exercising can help you to gain weight while building back muscle tone.
Exercise is an Excellent Way to Prevent Cancer from Recurring
After all that you’ve been through, the very last thing you want is for the cancer to return. One of the absolute best ways to keep that from happening is to consume a diet that is low in fat but high in fruits and vegetables , to drink lots of water, get plenty of rest and to get into the habit of working out on a weekly basis. If you do research on breast cancer information as it relates to preventative steps that you can take, a lot of them will reveal that incorporating these steps consistently is a surefire way to keep your estrone and estradiol—two forms of estrogen (note that estrogen can trigger cancer growth)—levels down. As a matter of fact, there are other studies that indicate that a sedentary lifestyle is actually what increases people’s risk of becoming diagnosed with all forms of cancer, including cancer of the breasts. And so, if ever there was a time to look at exercise as a way of fighting for your quality and quantity of life, on this side of survival, this would definitely be it.
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