TYPES OF EXERCISES FOR ONCOLOGY PATIENTS: BEFORE, DURING & AFTER CANCER TREATMENT

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EXERCISE & CANCER

Gone are the days when exercising was seen only as a fitness tool. We are living in a decade where researchers are studying the therapeutic role of exercise in various diseases.

USE OF EXERCISE AS ADJUVANT THERAPY IN ALL STAGES OF CANCER:

proper diet plays a major role in building muscle as our Indian diet includes all the essential nutrients like  protein which is  needed for body muscle growth and strength

Various studies have been made to assess the therapeutic properties of exercise starting from the stage where cancer is diagnosed and extending for years even after completion of the therapy.

We’ve got promising evidence confirming the lower risk of cancer mortality in people who are involved in higher levels of physical activity.

TYPES OF EXERCISES FOR ONCOLOGY PATIENTS:

Different varieties of exercises can be included as a routine to improve the overall wellbeing of the cancer patients. Each type of exercise will have its own benefits in the patient’s health.

Aerobic exercise: Works by increasing the heart rate; Helps in improving the fatigue condition of the patient during the cancer treatment. Brisk walking is an excellent aerobic exercise. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC recommends 150 minutes/week of moderate intensity aerobic exercise for adults.

TYPES OF EXERCISES FOR ONCOLOGY PATIENTS:

TYPES OF EXERCISES FOR ONCOLOGY PATIENTS:

Strength training: Cancer therapies can weaken the muscles and bones. Muscle wasting in cancer also known as Cancer Cachexia is a common side effect seen in cancer patients. Strength training also known as resistance training helps in maintaining the muscle mass prevents fatigue and improves the physical functioning of the body.

CDC recommended strength training schedule includes hand weights, exercise machines, resistance bands and our own body weight.

Balance exercise: Cancer can disrupt the total balance in the body. Including balancing exercises such as yoga helps in regaining the normal physical functioning of the body. Also maintaining a balance avoids the body from being injured.

Flexibility exercise: Cancer therapies such as radiation are prone to make the muscles stiff and incorporating flexibility exercises such as Stretching in the daily routine can be helpful. Blood flow to the muscles is increased; tissue regeneration and muscle recovery can be made easier by performing simple stretching exercises at home.

EXERCISE BEFORE CANCER TREATMENT:

Exercising before cancer treatment helps in boosting physical and psychological functioning  of the body resulting in better physical preparation for the treatment. As soon as the patient is diagnosed with cancer, the exercise regime should be planned according to the patient’s exercise tolerance and age.

EXERCISE DURING CANCER TREATMENT:

Exercising during cancer treatment helps in preventing the decline of physical functioning of the body. The other benefits of exercise during cancer therapy are listed below:

  • Lower risk of cancer mortality
  • Cancer recurrence rate is low
  • Fewer side effects of cancer therapy.
  • Better physical functioning of the body
  • Helps in maintaining the muscle mass while lowering the fat mass.
  • Prevents the risk of developing co morbidities
  • Improves the overall quality of life

EXERCISE INTOLERANCE:

Not being able to get out of the bed for exercising, not wanting to push ourselves to do an extra rep cannot be considered as exercise intolerance. Exercise intolerance is something which could be a symptom of a serious illness. Exercise intolerance is a general term where the person feels too much fatigue to perform a physical activity even for a shorter period.

Why does exercise intolerance happen in cancer patients?

As per the best cancer nutritionist in India, cancer patients can experience exercise intolerance due to various reasons such as age, additional comorbidities, side effects of different cancer therapies etc. These factors can disrupt the oxygen transportation to the body cells which result in fatigue. Apart from these, disrupted mental health coupled with lack of time, a wrong perspective towards exercise, and lack of education about the benefits of exercise may also impair the ability of the cancer patients to exercise.

Overcoming exercise intolerance in cancer patients:

Exercise intolerance in cancer patients can be successfully overcome with proper exercise training which is personalized according to the patient’s need taking into consideration of their therapy procedures and prevailing side effects associated with them.

EXERCISE AFTER CANCER TREATMENT:

Being physically active after cancer treatment is necessary to lead a healthy life. Inactivity can increase the chance of cancer coming back again. Consulting the doctor before figuring out the exercise regime is a must since the side effects of the treatment usually exist for a longer time.

Some tips to start exercising after cancer therapy includes,

  • Setting up a workout schedule which is flexible
  • Exercising when the energy levels are high
  • Being patient; every individual will have a different recovery period and avoid stressing out if it takes longer. Increase the intensity of the exercise step by step.
  • Choose stairs over lift
  • Prefer walking for a smaller distance rather than using a motor vehicle.

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