Benefits of Exercise for Cancer Patients (Liz Davies)

Although exercise and being active might not be the first thing on a cancer patients mind, it could be the one thing that will be sure to make them feel better.

Obstacles such as nausea, exhaustion, anxiety, depression and pain are all reasons why people might not have exercise on the top of their ‘To Do’ list. But this is a time when exercise is more important than ever. It has been shown that keeping up with an exercise schedule reduces stress levels, boosts immune systems, reduces fatigue, and reduces anxiety and depression much more than remaining sedentary.

Exercise has been shown to help aid in side effects from cancers such as breast cancer, liver cancer, and even rare cancers such as peritoneal-mesothelioma.

Although nausea and pain are issues that cancer patients deal with short-term, sleep disturbances and fatigue are two of the most frequent long-term side effects experienced after cancer treatment. These side-effects have different causes, but anxiety is a clear root. Exercise provides a reduction in anxiety giving cancer patients the ability to rid themselves of these sleeping troubles. Mentally exercise can create inner peace in mind, body and spirit and shift cancer patients’ focus from disease to health and wellness.

It is vital, for cancer patients especially, to proceed with care when it comes to their exercise plan. Discussing a plan with an oncology team is an important first step in finding the appropriate exercise routine.

Patients need to listen to their bodies and act accordingly. Exercise does not need to be intense in order for the benefits to appear. For example, short walks and taking the stairs instead of escalator are proven to be beneficial.

Whatever life challenges people are going through exercise is always a way they can improve both mentally and physically.

Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness. She wants to make a difference in people’s lives because she sees how cancer has devastated so many people in this world. Liz also likes running, playing lacrosse, reading and playing with her dog, April.